Laura van der Heijden (musician)

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Laura van der Heijden
Born (1997-04-07) 7 April 1997 (age 27)
West Sussex, England
Years active2005–present

Laura van der Heijden (born 7 April 1997) is a British cellist. She won the 2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.

Born in West Sussex, England, Van der Heijden is the youngest daughter of a Dutch father and Swiss mother. Her musical studies began at age 4 on recorder, then piano at age 5 and cello at age 6. In 2005, she joined the junior department of the Royal College of Music, where she studied piano under Emily Jeffrey. Her first public performance was at age nine with Forest Row's Jupiter Chamber Orchestra.[1] She has been a pupil of Leonid Gorokhov since 2008.[2]

In 2010, Van der Heijden won the Erster Preis mit Auszeichnung (first prize with distinction) and a special prize in the final of the Swiss National Youth Music Competition, which led to her performing the Boccherini Cello Concerto in G with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at the Zurich Tonhalle in January 2011. She was also the 2011 winner of the Marjorie Humby competition at the Royal College of Music and was awarded the 2012 Director's Prize at RCM Junior Department. Van der Heijden won the BBC Young Musician of the Year on 13 May 2012, where in the final round, she played William Walton's Cello Concerto with Kirill Karabits and the now Royal Northern Sinfonia, on a 1911 Celeste Farotti cello loaned to her by Gorokhov.[2]

Van der Heijden currently plays on a late 17th Century cello made by Francesco Rugeri of Cremona. She previously performed on a 1935 cello by Galileo Arcellaschi and a 1987 cello by Colin Irving. She became an Ambassador for Children & the Arts in January 2013.[3] In 2018 she released her debut album entitled 1948.[4] Van der Heijden graduated from St John's College, Cambridge in 2019.[5] On the 18th of February 2022, she released her latest album Pohádka: Tales From Prague To Budapest with the pianist Jâms Coleman, on the Chandos Label.[6]

She lives in Forest Row, East Sussex.[7]


  1. ^ "Laura van der Heijden". Champs Hill Records. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Cellist wins BBC Young Musician prize". BBC News. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Laura van der Heijden Joins Children & The Arts" (Press release). The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Art. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  4. ^ Savage, Mark (1 February 2018). "A tale of two cellists: Meet Laura van der Heijden and Sheku Kanneh-Mason". BBC News. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Benedetti Foundation - Tutors".
  6. ^ Palmer, Andrew. "Pohádka: Tales From Prague To Budapest Laura Van Der Heijden Cello Jâms Coleman Piano".
  7. ^ Cellist wins BBC Young Musician 2012 Retrieved 27/4/21.

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