Laura van der Heijden

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Laura van der Heijden, 1997

Laura van der Heijden has already made a name for herself as a very special emerging talent. Having won many prizes and awards from a very young age, Laura was awarded the title of BBC Young Musician 2012 at the age of 15, performing Walton’s Cello Concerto with Kirill Karabits and the Northern Sinfonia at The Sage, Gateshead.
In September 2014 Laura was awarded the Landgraf von Hessen Prize at the Kronberg Academy’s prestigious international masterclasses. In 2015, Laura was named Young Artist in Residence of the London Mozart Players. In 2016 Laura was chosen by the Orpheum Stiftung in Switzerland, a foundation encouraging and assisting exceptionally talented young instrumental soloists. Under this umbrella she appeared in recital with Fazil Say at Zürich Tonhalle in September 2016.

Bio portrait

Born in England in 1997 as the youngest daughter of a Dutch father and a Swiss mother, Laura’s musical studies started on recorder at the age of four. After learning with Marina Logie on cello, Laura had gained ABRSM grade 8 distinctions on both cello and piano by the age of ten. Laura's first public performance as a cellist was at the age of nine with the Jupiter Chamber Orchestra. From 2005 to 2014 Laura was a student at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, where she learned piano with Emily Jeffrey and participated in many ensembles. Since 2008 Laura has been a student of the renowned British-Russian cellist Leonid Gorokhov. Laura is currently studying for her Bachelor’s Degree in Music at St John’s College, Cambridge, while continuing to perform during her term breaks.

In the past few years, Laura performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and with Sinfonia Cymru in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto. She gave her debuts in Germany at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and also the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festivals, in New Zealand with the National Youth Orchestra, and in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the opening concert of the inaugural BBC Proms Australia, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. She was invited by composer James Macmillan to perform at his Cumnock Tryst Festival in Scotland. Furthermore she gave performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the European Union Chamber Orchestra and the London Mozart Players as part of her residency.

Laura has undertaken extensive recital tours in the UK with her regular recital partners Tom Poster, Huw Watkins and Petr Limonov. Her chamber music performances have included collaborations with Fazil Say, Krzysztof Chorzelski, Tobias Feldmann, Martyn Jackson, and Savitri Grier. She is regularly participating in masterclasses with David Geringas, Ralph Kirschbaum and Miklós Perényi.

Laura van der Heijden’s 2016/17 season will feature her debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and performances with the Orchestra of the Swan as their Associate Artist. In December 2017 Laura will perform the Schumann cello concerto with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields as part of the “Cello Unwrapped” series at Kings Place, London.

Laura plays a 1780 cello by Joseph Hill, generously on loan to her by the Boileau family, and is an Ambassador for both the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and Brighton Youth Orchestra.


“The beauty of Laura van der Heijden’s playing lies in the fact that she has a wonderful expressivity, but never, ever overdoes it, and the pianissimo ending of the concerto was enchanting, ending with just the solo cello, captivating the audience…” (Jane Shuttleworth / Bachtrack / May 2012)

“…a completely extraordinary performance of incredible creative intensity…” (Nicholas Daniel / BBC3 Radio / May 2012)

“…mesmerising performance of the rarely-played Walton Cello Concerto…” (Richard Morrison / Times / May 2012)