Van der Heijden pulls out beautifully moulded lyricism by the yard” – Gramophone

Laura van der Heijden headshot

Recently signed to Chandos Records with her first album “Pohádka” released in March 2022, Laura van der Heijden has emerged as one of the leading cellists of her generation, captivating audiences and critics alike with her deeply perceptive interpretations and engaging stage presence.  Her engagements in recent years include concerts with leading orchestras such as the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the BBC Scottish Symphony and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the European Union Chamber and English Chamber Orchestras, the New Zealand Symphony, with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the 2018 BBC Proms, and with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the opening concert of the inaugural BBC Proms Australia. She has performed at venues including the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw, Opernhaus Zürich, Wigmore Hall, LSO St Luke’s, Leeds Town Hall, Snape Maltings, Saffron Hall, Kings Place and St George’s Bristol, has made numerous appearances on BBC Radio 3 In Tune, and has worked with such distinguished musicians as Sir Andrew Davis, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Kirill Karabits, Ryan Wigglesworth, Huw Watkins, Krzysztof Chorzelski, and the Brodsky Quartet.

Laura can already look back on a number of exceptional achievements to date, among them being the winner of the BBC Young Musician competition aged 15. Her 2018 debut album 1948 won the 2018 Edison Klassiek Award and the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year Award. The disc, featuring Russian music for cello and piano with pianist Petr Limonov, has been hailed as a “a thought-provoking debut disc from an impressive and intelligent young cellist” (Gramophone). 

Also a passionate chamber musician, Laura has collaborated with the likes of Tom Poster, Katya Apekisheva, Matthew MacDonald, Jâms Coleman and Max Baillie, and has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall, West Cork and Beverley Chamber Music Festivals, Harrogate International Festival, the Cheltenham Festival, Music In The Round, Oxford’s Holywell Music Room and at the Oxford Lieder Festival, and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. She is a member of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, an Associate Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall, and features on their debut album American Quintets (2021/Chandos).

Recent and forthcoming highlights include Walton’s Cello Concerto with the Hallé, Dobrinka Tabakova’s Concerto for Cello and Strings with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Martinů’s Cello Concerto No.1 with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, and performances at the Leeds International Piano Competition and with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony and Czech National Symphony Orchestras, and recordings with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective. 
Laura is a graduate of St John’s College, Cambridge. She plays a late 17th-century cello by Francesco Ruggieri of Cremona, on generous loan from a private collection.