Cellist Laura van der Heijden has released her debut recording, on the Champs Hill label. Its title, ‘1948’, recognises a key moment in the history of Russian music. Andrei Zhdanov, director of the Soviet Union’s cultural policy, issued a decree on 10th February accusing composers such as Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khachaturian and Myaskovsky of ‘clear manifestations of formalistic distortions and antidemocratic tendencies in music that are alien to the Soviet people and its artistic tastes’.

Laura has already made a name for herself as a very special emerging talent, captivating audiences and critics alike with her insightful and faithful interpretations. She has appeared with leading UK orchestras, such as the Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, European Union Chamber and English Chamber Orchestras. Her recital partner on this recording is Russian-British pianist Petr Limonov. The works on this disc by Prokofiev, Myaskovsky and Shaporin were also the fruit of the composers’ collaboration with Mstislav Rostropovich, whose talent and energy catalysed them into writing for cello.