Laura van der Heijden

Laura van der Heijden

“The beauty of Laura van der Heijden’s playing lies in the fact that she has a wonderful expressivity, but never, ever overdoes it.”

Jane Shuttleworth, Bachtrack

Representation: General Management

Photo: Chris Gloag


Laura van der Heijden rose to fame when she won the title of BBC Young Musician in 2012. She has since embarked on an impressive career which this season includes debuts in Germany, New Zealand and Australia. Her artistic integrity and captivating stage presence are rapidly ensuring her a place among the most distinctive emerging artists.  Currently Young Artist in Residence of the London Mozart Players, she has performed with the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic, English Chamber and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Laura is a keen chamber musician, collaborating regularly with pianists Tom Poster and Huw Watkins, and violinist Tobias Feldmann.


Full Biography

Laura van der Heijden has already made a name for herself as a very special emerging talent, captivating audiences and critics alike with her insightful and faithful interpretations. Having turned 21 in 2018, Laura can already look back on a number of exceptional achievements, among them becoming the winner – at the age of just 15 – of the BBC Young Musician competition, and performing with such distinguished musicians as Sir Andrew Davis, Fazil Say, Kirill Karabits, Huw Watkins, Krzysztof Chorzelski, and the Endellion String Quartet. 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.

Laura released her debut album in 2018 with pianist Petr Limonov to great critical acclaim (Champs Hill Records). “1948” features Russian music for cello and piano, incl. Prokofiev’s cello sonata and Shaporin’s Five Pieces. It won the 2018 Edison Klassiek Award, hand-picked by the jury as an exceptional debut recording. Described as an ” imaginative and impressive debut… Laura van der Heijden dazzles in both rare and well-known cello sonatas of the Soviet era”, the CD was also “Record of the Month” in BBC Music Magazine.

Laura was born in England to Dutch-Swiss parents and gave her first public performance at the age of 9.  Since 2008 she has been a student of the renowned British-Russian cellist Leonid Gorokhov, and has participated in masterclasses given by such cellists as David Geringas, Ralph Kirshbaum and Miklós Perényi. She is currently studying for her Bachelor’s Degree in Music at St John’s College, Cambridge, while also maintaining a busy concert diary.

In the past few years, Laura has performed with leading orchestras such as the Philharmonia, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, European Union Chamber and English Chamber Orchestras.  She has also given debuts in Holland, Germany, New Zealand, and in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the opening concert of the inaugural BBC Proms Australia, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

Chamber music is immensely important to Laura. She has collaborated with Tom Poster, Huw Watkins, Petr Limonov, Matthew MacDonald, and Krzysztof Chorzelski and regularly participates in international chamber music courses and festivals.

In 2018 Laura debuts with the Argovia Philharmonic in Switzerland and at Wigmore Hall in a BBC lunchtime recital. Later on in the year she will give her debuts with the Hallé Orchestra under Karl-Heinz Steffens (Dvorak), in Japan with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and at the Musashino Cultural Foundation, as well as in Italy at the Stradivari Festival of Cremona. She will also perform Haydn’s cello concerto in C in the opening concert of the Lammermuir Festival with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore she will appear in recital with pianist Jâms Coleman at Cheltenham Music Festival and around the UK.

Laura plays a late 17th-century cello by Francesco Ruggieri of Cremona, on generous loan from a private collection. She is an Ambassador for both the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and Brighton Youth Orchestra.

Artist Website:

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.  Email: Millie Carden



West Cork Chamber Music Festival

June 28th, 2019

Viviane Hagner, Henning Kraggerud & Laura van der Heijden

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BBC Music Magazine Awards

April 17th, 2019

Van der Heijden wins Newcomer of the Year Award

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Chauhan and Van der Heijden on Tour

March 28th, 2019

Alpesh Chauhan and Laura van der Heijden begin their tour of the Netherlands

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‘Tis the Season

November 26th, 2018

HC artists’ concert performances this festive period

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Edison Klassiek Award

November 6th, 2018

‘1948’ wins Edison Klassiek 2018 Award in the category ‘Best Debut’

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Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis – BBC Proms Australia

“At just 19, this tremendously charismatic performer displayed a confidence and artistry far greater than her years, delivering a rich, treacly tone warmed with a robust vibrato. This relatively short, single-movement work is not often considered among the greatest cello concerti, but in the hands of musicians of this calibre, it is most definitely worthy of a performance.”

Limelight Magazine (April 2016)

“The Saint-Saens often suffers maltreatment, cellists slashing through tempests, then saturating delicate asides with ostentatious phrasing. Van der Heijden was having none of that, the beauty and clarity of her tone, even and sensitively weighted bow contact, and an unlaboured expressive palette making for an elegant performance. She gave fiendish double stops, harmonics and upper-register climbs the rare honour of being treated as musical ideas rather than tricks, making sense of what is generally rendered as acoustic porridge.”

The Australian (April 2016)

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Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 (New Zealand Symphony Orchestra NYO and Richard Gill) 

“Her warm tone in the upper register and the rich dark velvety hues of the lower provided a performance full of colour and nuances of a more mature performer… van der Heijden displayed her virtuosity in the second movement cadenza and in the dramatic sections of the finale. Her performance captured the beauty inherent in the work.”

Stuff NZ (February 2016)

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Recital with Tom Poster, Nairn

“This was a musical evening to remember.  The rapport and musical communication between these two now internationally renowned performers was remarkable, particularly considering the youthfulness of the cellist who exhibited a musical maturity well beyond her years.”

John Bell (October 2015)

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Discography & Repertoire

Artist Manager

Sibylle Jackson (Cambridge)
01223 706418

Assistant Artist Manager

Millie Carden (Cambridge)
01223 706027