Victor Tretyakov was born into a musical family in Siberian town Krasnoyarsk. From 1965 Tretyakov studied at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Professor Yuri Yankelevich, who encouraged his outstanding talent. In the same year he was awarded winner of the Union Competition for violin and received a first-degree diploma. A year later, the violinist won the first prize and gold medal in the related international Tchaikovsky competition, which boosted his fame.
Tretyakov has worked with conductors such as Rostropovich, Ormandy, Temirkanov, Jochum, Krips, Gergiev, Fedoseyev, Maazel, Kempe, Yansons, Jarvi, Levine, Mehta, Penderecki, Previn and Kondrashin. In 1983 he was appointed chief conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, with whom he worked for over a decade. From 1986 to 1994 he was the jury-chairman of the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He is also a jury member at numerous competitions in Brussels, Hannover, Sendai, Moscow, Helsinki, Zagreb and many others. He has made a name even as a chamber music partner of Sviatoslav Richter, Rostropovich, Oleg Kagan and the Borodin Quartet.
Among his pupils are Ilya Kaler, Sergei Stadler, Evgeny Bushkov, Natalia Likhopoi (Glazunov Quartet) Dmitri Berlinsky, Abel Tomas Realp (Cuarteto Casals) and Roberto Cani (New Hollywood String Quartet). Together with Yuri Bashmet, Vassily Lobanov, and Natalia Gutman he founded a piano quartet that regularly performs in Europe. From 1996, Viktor Tretyakov is a professor at the Cologne Academy of Music. His numerous recordings have been released by Melodiya, Sony / BMG, Brilliant Classics, Live Classics, Classics Yedang, Olympics, Russian Revelation, and DVDs for TDK and Records Arts Polo.