Ars Antonina supports young talented cellist
British musician Laura van der Heijden, who just turned 18th earlier this month, travelled from London to Monaco for a cello recital at the Theatre des Varietes in Monte-Carlo on Wednesday, April 28, invited by Ars Antonina, a musical association supporting young talents.
Van der Heijden is one of the outstanding artists of her generation, already performing as soloist with the leading orchestras of the world. The program of her performance in Monaco included works by Schnittke, Schubert and Rachmaninoff, that she played on a 1935 cello by Galileo Arcellaschi and a 1987 cello by Colin Iring. Laura performed with mastery and expression, even if her execution of Schnittke’s Suite was somewhat timid, but gave a great rendition of Schubert’s Sonata, and got even more confident in the second part of the program, playing the pieces by Rachmaninoff with added brio and passion. She was accompanied by the one the leading collaborative pianist Alison Rhind from Britain.
- Alfred Schnittke: Suite in the ancient style for cello and piano
- Frans Schubert: Sona for arpeggio and piano, D.821
- Serge Rachmaninov: Prelude and oriental dance, opus 2
- Serge Rachmaninov: Sonata for cello and piano opus 10
Laura van der Heijden’s young career
Laura van der Heijden was born in West Sussex, England, April 7, 1997, is the younger daughter of a Dutch father and Swiss mother. She began musical studies at the tender age of 4 years old 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, and she has been a student of Leonid Gorokhov since 2008.
In 2010, van der Heijden won the Erster Preis mit Auszeichnung (full marks) 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 Kammer Orchestra 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. This young artist won the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2012, where in the final round, she played William Walton’s Cello Concerto with Krill Karabitis and the now Royal Northern Sinfonia, on a 1911 Celeste Farotti cello loaned to her by Gorokhov.Laura is an Ambassador for The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and Brighton Youth Orchestra.
“When I started learning the cello, I fell in love with the instrument because it seemed like a voice – my voice.” Mstislav Rostropovich