Victor ORLOFF [c.1912-1959] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Victor ORLOFF [c.1912-1959]

c.1912-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
Birthplace (country): 
Cause of death: 
Other reference:

Mr Orloff's life was summarised in newspapers after he was found dead with wrist injuries at home in Flat 516, the United Apartments, Great George Street, Causeway Bay (now Island Beverley Centre): 

The 46/47-year-old violinist was from Belarus (part of Russia when he was born) but stateless [Wah Kiu].

He came to Hong Kong from Shanghai in 1939, first employed by Lido Night Club, Repulse Bay [SCMP]. His performances were listed on SCMP from time to time. 

In '香港音樂的前世今生', Mr Oliver Chou (周光蓁, music historian and author at SCMP) said Mr Orloff joined the Hongkong Light Orchestra (香港輕音樂團) as concertmaster in November, 1948. This was decided by Sepetember, 1948 (Page 4, South China Morning Post, 1948-09-02), when J. F. Gray was leaving Hong Kong. It stated Mr Orloff was 'well-known in ZBW circles'. 

Upon his death, Orloff was the band leader of the Majestic Night Club, North Point [SCMP]. But the Chinese papers only noted that he was a musician there: Wah Kiu being more specific, saying that he played the piano, other instruments at times.

This is presumably his grave, and he is mentioned in

Would anyone know more about his life, especially before he came to Hong Kong? 


Photos that show this person



Victor Orloff taught me to play the violin till I was about 12 or 13. He was a good looking, blond-haired man, and I had heard that the ladies found him very appealing. He was a good music teacher, but I was a lousy student, alas. I was already living in Sydney in 1959 when I heard over the Russian grapevine that he had committed suicide in Hong Kong. I do recall that in the late 1940s I went to his rooms in Kowloon for my violin lessons. He did play a number of musical instruments and had jobs playing different instruments with different orchestras. We were all sad to hear of his passing.

Victor played with my father on certain occasion but I'm not sure if he was a member of my father's orchestra. Although he arrived in HK in 1939, I don't have any photos of Victor and my father pre-war. However he was in a few photos post-war.

This one was taken at the HK Hotel - my father standing by the piano, Victor with the violin and A Krassoff who played the cello. If anyone knows Krassoff's first name, I would be so grateful if you could tell me. He is in so many photos with my father's orchestra and I can't find his first name anywhere. 

dad orloff.jpg
dad orloff.jpg, by Nona

Another photo taken at the HK Hotel showing my father, Victor (with a sax) and my aunt (the singer), Evgeniya (Janet) Nozadze, who had the stage name of Janet Node.

HK Hotel 1947.jpg
HK Hotel 1947.jpg, by Nona

And this photo was taken from a program which my father kept, Victor playing at the Earl Haig Fund Concert in 1948.

V Orloff Earl Haig Fund Concert.jpg
V Orloff Earl Haig Fund Concert.jpg, by Nona