"My whole life, I've wanted to do things differently. Otherwise, I'd find it difficult to stay myself."

Jul 2024

“Our big interview this month is with the brilliant cellist Laura van der Heijden. With her new recording of Walton’s Cello Concerto, Laura has returned to the work that won her BBC Young Musician of the Year. She opens up to Ariane Todes on the pressures of recording and the joy of friends.”

Click here to read the interview on

New Ways of Thinking

Jun 2024

“Although British cellist Laura van der Heijden is well versed in live performance and studio recording, she is still discovering new facets of her musical personality as Toby Deller finds out.”
Click the link to read her interview covering her childhood, education, recording Cheryl Frances-Hoads’s “Earth, Sea, Air”, Walton and Bridge, her doubts, thoughts and plans and much more.

Read the interview in The Strad

"Earth, Sea, Air"
release 31st May 2024

May 2024

Release of Laura van der Heijden’s first concerto album with Chandos Records: Earth, Sea, Air. The album consists of three works; Frank Bridge‘s Oration, William Walton‘s Cello Concerto, and the premiere recording of Cheryl Frances-Hoad‘s composition “Earth, Sea, Air”.
The disc was recorded with BBCSSO and conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth.

“Van der Heijden is mesmerising… Proof, if any were ever needed, that the best things come to those who wait.”
Charlotte Gardner, gramophone

Buy or download CD here

"Path to the Moon"
release 16th Feb 2024

Feb 2024

Release of Laura van der Heijden and Jâms Coleman’s second disc with Chandos Records: Path to the Moon. The album repertoire was inspired by the cover image, and includes a wide range of works for cello and piano – from Benjamin Britten to Nina Simone.

“Intriguing and beguiling – perfectly curated”
The Guardian
“Gently alluring, enigmatic and romantic? Well, tick, tick and tick. Hugely recommended.”
“Discovery of the Week”
Classic FM
“Ein hörenswerter Flug zum Mond”
“Album of the week”
Scala Radio
“Spotlight. A great release”
Classical Music Daily

Buy or download CD here

Mozart Piano Quartets
release 10th August 2023

Aug 2023

Following a highly successful series of concerts in the summer of 2022, Francesca Dego, Timothy Ridout, Laura van der Heijden, and Federico Colli headed into the studio to record Mozart’s Piano Quartets KV 478 & 493.

“sparkling group achievements…splendid showcase”
Geoff Brown, The Times
“sensitive or lightly playful as the music demands”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times
“chamber-music playing that really has something to say”
Erica Jeal, Guardian
“perceptive interpretations that are convincingly paced, stylish, eloquently shaped and tastefully embellished”
Robin Stowell, The Strad

Buy or download CD here

Laura performs World Premiere with BBC Scottish Symphony

May 2023

Laura performs the World Premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s new cello concerto with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow, conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth.

Cheryl’s exciting new work – a «volcanic new cello concerto» (Simon Thompson, The Times) – takes its inspiration from nature and will be available to stream on BBC Sounds following to its first broadcast next week (25 May).

Review in The Times
Review in The Herald

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

This Classical Life

Mar 2023

Jess Gillam is joined by the cellist Laura van der Heijden to share some of their favourite musical discoveries, including JS Bach interpreted by the Lodestar Trio, music from Philip Glass’s Book of Longing, a track from the trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf and Elena Urioste playing Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

listen here

Walker Immersion Day at the Barbican and on BBC Radio 3

Nov 2022

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Alpesh Chauhan in George Walker, Movements for Cello and Orchestra, BBC Radio 3 in Concert (Movements starts half an hour into programme)
click here to listen until 28 Dec 2022

Walker on BBC Radio 3

Laura announced as «Artist in Focus» at Kings Place

Oct 2022

Kings Place has today announced an exciting new partnership with Laura van der Heijden as their «Artist in Focus» across 2023.

She will perform in recital with Jåms Colman (20 April), CPE Bach Concerto with the Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon (17 June) and a «Dulcimer» project on 4 October 2023 where she joins forces with Misha Mullov-Abbado (double bass), Max Baillie (violin) and Marcel Comendant (cimbalom) for a captivating celebration of musical styles – from Baroque to Ravel to contemporary jazz.

Laura was at Kings Place London last Friday performing as both cellist and vocalist in «Finding my Voice» alongside celebrated tabla player Kuljit Bhambra MBE as part of the celebrated Voices Unwrapped Series.

Kings Place, Artist in Focus

"Pohádka" release 18th Feb 2022

Feb 2022

Release of Laura’s first duo disc with Chandos, featuring Czech and Hungarian works for cello and piano, with pianist Jâms Coleman. The CD launch concert will be at Wigmore Hall on the 9th of March at 1pm.

“big-boned reading, hair-trigger transitions from dreaming innocence to cataclysm”
Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine
“tangible musical understanding”
Guy Rickards, Gramophone Magazine
“impulsive passion… proper storytelling”
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review
“disc worth seeking out”
Janet Banks, The Strad
“an excellent disc”
Terry Robbins, The Whole Note Magazine, Canada
“impulsive, compelling performance”
Natasha Loges, BBC Radio 3 Record Review Extra
“works of complex tonality and emotional intensity… brought vividly to life”
Lisa MacKinney, Limelight, Australia
“full gamut of emotions superbly portrayed with passion”
Andrew Palmer, The Yorkshire Times
“Dos músicos británicos han cruzado la frontera invisible…”
Norman Lebrecht, Scherzo
“This reading of Pohádka is a long-lived-in one”
Charlotte Gardner, DCS Audio
“Heel bijzonder!”
Michel Dutrieue, Stretto, Belgium
“an extremely compelling release”
James Manheim, AllMusic

Buy or download CD here

Tabakova and Tchaikovsky on BBC Radio 3

Dec 2021

Conductor Bramwell Tovey and the BBC Concert Orchestra perform the Concerto for Cello and Strings of their Composer in Residence, Dobrinka Tabakova, at Queen Elizabeth Hall. (Recorded for Radio 3 in Concert, the concerto starts 30 mins into programme)
click here to listen until 6 Jan 2022

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Ryan Wigglesworth in Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, BBC Radio 3 Afternoon Concert (Tchaikovsky starts at 1 hour into programme)
click here to listen until 25 Dec 2021

Laura van der Heijden on Radio BBC 3

Cellist Laura van der Heijden signs to Chandos Records

Oct 2021

Cellist Laura van der Heijden has signed an exclusive recording contract with Chandos Records, with her first release on the label due to arrive in February 2022.

The cellist and former BBC Young Musician winner’s first release on the label is set to be a collection of folk songs by Kodály, Dvořák and Janáček.

read the article by Freya Parr in Classical Music

Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective released their debut recording 'American Quintets'

May 2021

Hailed by The Times for its ‘exhilarating performances’, the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective released their debut recording on 28 May 2021, a CD of American Quintets. The disc includes Amy Beach’s sumptuous Piano Quintet, the premiere recording of Florence Price’s Piano Quintet, and Samuel Barber’s well-known classic ‘Dover Beach’

see more

Touching a nerve
The Strad

Feb 2021

Although nervous energy can lead to inspired playing, it can also result in performance anxiety – unless we find ways to control it, writes cellist Laura van der Heijden

Read the article in the Strad

Inside Performance

Feb 2021

Interview by Sophie Hamilton

Managing performance anxiety and finding what works for you

Listen on spotify

Wigmore Hall Associate Ensemble

Aug 2020

Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective has been named Wigmore Hall’s new Associate Ensemble

Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective

Laura plays Shostakovich and Saint-Saëns Concertos on Radio BBC 3

Nov 2019

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Jac van Steen recreate the seminal concert of 1960, in which Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto was being given its London premiere, alongside Britten’s own Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.
Britten and Russia, available until 23 Nov 2019

Afternoon Concert, celebrating the BBC Philharmonic – Saint-Saens, Mahler, Clyne, Saariaho, Antheil
BBC Philharmonic & Joana Carneiro, conductor
Click here to listen until 4 Dec 2019

Laura van der Heijden on Radio BBC 3

BBC Radio 3 - Inside Music - Cellist Laura van der Heijden finds bittersweet intensity in music

Jul 2019

Since winning BBC Young Musician in 2012, cellist Laura van der Heijen has successfully juggled professional performing with her academic studies. She has just graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge and in today’s edition of Inside Music she talks about a highlight of her Cambridge years – putting on a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion.

Laura also finds music by Robert Schumann and Richard Strauss that has in the past assuaged her teenage angst, and a concerto by Telemann that’s been pepped up with the addition of the Hungarian cimbalom.

Raw vocal expression is another necessity for Laura, as she chooses recordings by singers Fritz Wunderlich, Ella Fitzgerald and Allan Clayton.

BBC Radio 3 - Inside Music

BBC Radio 4 - Front Row

Apr 2019

Cellist Laura van der Heijden, who won the BBC Young Musician competition when she was 15, plays live and discusses her debut album of Russian music called 1948, which last night won the BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer of the Year Award.

Interview with Stig Abell:

BBC Radio 4 - Front Row

"1948" wins Newcomer of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2019

Apr 2019

Winners announced for the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Awards.

Newcomer of the Year has been awarded to cellist Laura van der Heijden, the winner of BBC Young Musician in 2012 who released her debut album 1948: works by Prokofiev, Myaskovsky, Shaporin and Lyadov in 2018, which was met with huge praise.

‘As these heartfelt performances demonstrate, these are not cowed and dutifully conservative works…Van der Heijden plays with attractively songful tone throughout, rich yet grainy in her instrument’s bass register. She is well-matched by Limonov’s sensitive piano playing, their phrasing very much hand in glove and yet spontaneous-sounding.’

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2019

“1948” wins the 2018 Edison Klassiek Award

Nov 2018

Verdict of the jury: “It is not often that a 21-year-old music student receives an Edison Classical Award. But we could not ignore the cellist Laura van der Heijden. Equally rare is that a cellist fills a debut album with Russian repertoire from after the Second World War. We know Sergei Prokofiev, but who has heard of Yuri Shaporin? Laura van der Heijden places the two composers side by side and adds Myaskovsky and the 19th-century Lyadov. The repertoire is close to her heart. Together with the Russian pianist Petr Limonov, Laura van der Heijden dives deep into the Slavic soul. You will hear a lot more of this cellist.”

Award ceremony live on NPO 2 TV (“Podium Witteman”) on Sunday 11 November at 18:05 local time.

read more

"1948" Release

Jan 2018

Release of Laura’s debut CD, featuring Russian works for cello and piano by Prokofiev, Myaskovsky, Shaporin and Lyadov, with pianist Petr Limonov

Nominated for Best Debut CD
Oct 2018

Edison Klassiek Award, The Netherlands (Nov 2018)
read more

Daniel Jaffé, BBC Music Magazine *****
March 2018, Recording of the Month

“An imaginative and impressive debut”
“From the first, richly resinous tone of the cello solo that opens Prokofiev’s Sonata, one senses that this album will be a treat.”…
read the review

Peter Quantrill, The Strad
March 2018, ‘The Strad Recommends’

“Outstanding, original Russian recital”…
…“the burgeoning first melody of Myaskovsky’s Sonanta, which in the hands of the 2012 BBC Young Musician winner, opens like a flower after a long winter.”…
read more

Erica Jeal, The Guardian ****
11 Jan 2018

…“a perfectly judged weight, the cello singing out long lines of sustained intensity that get to the heart of this soulful music”…
read the review

Norman Lebrecht, La Scena Musicale ****
5 Jan 2018

…“serious, adult interpretations, properly considered and ready to contend with the best in the field”…
read the review

Jan de Kruijff,
Jan 2018

…“Vol zelfvertrouwen en beschikkend over een waar arsenaal aan techniek laat ze haar cello mooi fraserend en articulerend zingen, spreken en trillen met een goed gedoseerde intensiteit en steeds de essentie van de werken onthullend.”…
read the review

Richard Bratby, Gramophone Magazine
Feb 2018

“Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata begins with a melody low on the C string, and no expression markings: just the instruction piena voce (full voice). So it’s hard to explain exactly why Laura van der Heijden makes it sound and feel quite so right.”…
read the review

Buy or download CD here

Laura van der Heijden – film about 1948 CD

Jan 2018

Laura van der Heijden – film about 1948 CD.

A documentary style film about the background to the repertoire on Laura’s 1948 CD, with interviews, music and historical footage.

Watch on Vimeo

Recording "1948" at Champs Hill

Dec 2017

watch on YouTube

Laura to be Orchestra of the Swan Associate Artist for Season 2016/17

Sep 2016

Laura is absolutely delighted to play with the Orchestra of the Swan as their Associated Artist.

After a very well received Elgar cello concerto in the “Last Night of the Shakespeare Proms” in July (review), she will be playing Haydn D cello concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with OOTS during the 2016/17 season.

The “Mercurial” Haydn can be heard in September, under the baton of David Curtis, founder and Artistic Director of the Orchestra of the Swan.

27 September 2016, Stratford-on-Avon, ArtsHouse
link to concert
28 September 2016, Birmingham, Town Hall
link to concert

There will be 3 opportunities to hear Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations in April 2017:

11 April 2017 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Startford ArtsHouse under Julian Lloyd Webber
link to concert
12 April 2017 in Birmingham, Town Hall under Julian Lloyd Webber
link to concert
21 April 2017 in Cheltenham, Cheltenham Town Hall with David Curtis
link to concert

Orchestra of the Swan

Read the interview with Stephen Ward

Laura's New Zealand Debut

Jan 2016

Laura will be making her New Zealand debut later this month with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s National Youth Orchestra as a soloist at their annual summer camp in Hamilton, New Zealand. She will join the orchestra and conductor, Richard Gill, for a week of rehearsals leading to performances at Founders Theatre, Hamilton on Friday 5th February and Baycourt Plaza, Tauranga on Saturday 6th February.

The programme features Laura performing Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto no. 1 as well as Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Schubert’s 9th Symphony.

This is the first of two trips ‘down-under’ this year for Laura, who will be appearing at the opening night of the inaugural BBC Melbourne Proms in April.

More information

Laura to perform with London Mozart Players at St John's Smith Square

Jan 2016

‘Mozart & the Brothers’ throws a spotlight on Mozart’s encounters with the Haydn brothers.
Highlights of the programme include a performance of Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D major from Laura and Mozart’s Horn Concerto in Eb from LMP’s distinguished principal horn player, Peter Francomb. The concert will be conducted by Graham Ross and concludes with a performance of Mozart’s ‘Linz’ symphony, a piece that was written in the space of a few days on Mozart’s return journey to Vienna from Salzburg and then subsequently premiered in Linz on 4th November 1783.

Laura was appointed as the LMP’s ‘Young Artist in Residence’ in 2015, and is ‘…so much looking forward to exploring Haydn’s D Major Cello Concerto with them for the next concert in their Mozart Explored: 1783 series.’

BBC Proms Australia: Laura to play under Sir Andrew Davis

Nov 2015

The BBC has announced plans to hold a new BBC Proms festival in Melbourne in April 2016. Laura has been invited to play Saint-Saëns cello concerto in the opening concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on 13th April 2016. British conductor Sir Andrew Davis, who has conducted more Last Nights of the BBC Proms than any other living conductor, will lead the event.

BBC Proms Australia

Orpheum Foundation chooses Laura to be “Young Soloist on Stage”

Jul 2015

Laura has been chosen by the Orpheum Foundation in Switzerland, a foundation encouraging and assisting exceptionally talented young instrumental soloists. Under this umbrella she will appear in recital with Fazil Say at Zürich Tonhalle in September 2016.

Orpheum Foundation

London Mozart Players announce Laura as their first Young Artist in Residence

May 2015

“We are pleased to announce that cellist Laura van der Heijden has been appointed ‘Young Artist in Residence’ with the London Mozart Players. Laura is the 2012 BBC Young Musician and first collaborated with the orchestra in 2013. The new partnership will commence officially in June 2015 with the opening concert of the Portsmouth Festivities on 19 June 2015. Further concerts take place in September and January of next season.”

Press release

Young Artist of the Week: Amati Magazine Interwiew by Jessica Duchen

Feb 2015

The British cellist Laura van der Heijden won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2012 and has been making waves ever since in the concert scene, while also studying for her A levels. In March she tours the UK performing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No.1. Here she tells AMATI about juggling workloads, her new cello and why it is vital that the music and the arts maintain a strong presence in our schools…

Read the interview

Laura plays live at BAFTA Film Awards

Feb 2015

Laura plays Charlie Chaplin’s Smile during the tribute to Lord Attenborough at the BAFTA Film Awards


Interview at The Roses Theatre

Jan 2015

Ahead of Laura and Tom Poster’s recital at the Roses Theatre in Tewksebury, she answers questions about life and work as a young musician.

Read the interview

Classical Music Magazine Interview: One Step at a Time

Nov 2014

BBC Young Musician 2012 winner Laura van der Heijden is remarkably level headed and taking her career at a sensible pace, finds Harry White in the Strings special edition of Classical Music Magazine.

Classical Music Magazine

Laura joins Encore to become an Ambassador for Brighton Youth Orchestra

Oct 2014

“Working with the Brighton Youth Orchestra is the perfect combination of laughter and hard work.”


Laura awarded Landgrave of Hesse Prize at International Masterclasses of Kronberg Academy

Sep 2014

After being chosen to participate in the class of David Geringas, Laura is awarded the Landgrave von Hesse Prize, together with Maciej Kułakowski. They are both going to perform at the Kronberg Academy Festival (on 28th September 2015).

Kronberg Academy awards

Laura becomes Ambassador for the Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts

Jan 2013

“…early involvement with the arts is vital to a child’s development, emotionally and mentally. Music, theatre, art, dance and speech are fundamental, as they help children to connect with each other and themselves, and also provides lots of fun! I myself couldn’t possibly imagine my life without the arts, and I think many people would say the same.”

The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts