From Unearthing The Music
Valentina Goncharova was born in 1953 in Kiev. She began studying music from the age of three, first learning the piano from her grandmother. Three years later, upon starting school, she would begin studying the violin instead after not being accepted to the piano class due to, in her words, her "absolute pitch, and incredibly small hands."
Between 1960 – 69 she studied violin at the Kiev Special Musical School under L. F. Benderski. During this period Valentina won some prizes at musical competitions for young Ukrainian musicians.
Starting in 1969 Valentina studied in St.Petersburg (at the time known as Leningrad). Between 1969 – 71 she was a student at the Leningrad special music school, before attending the Leningrad Conservatory between 1971 and 1976 under professor M.I. Vajman. Between 1980 to 1983 she took a postgraduate course at the Leningrad conservatory, under professor B.L. Gutnikov. For several years Valentina was a soloist of the Philarmonic societies (in Ulan-Ude between 1976-77, in Tver between 1978-83, and in Tallinn between 1985-91).
She has been living in Estonia since 1984. Between 1984 and 2002 she worked as a teacher at the Georg Ots Music College in Tallinn.
Besides her activity as a musician and music teacher, she is a journalist and music critic. She is a member of the Estonian Union of journalists and the International Federation of Journalists.