BBC Music Magazine
Laura van der Heijden
1948 Works by Prokofiev, Myaskovsky, Shaporin and Lyadov Laura van der Heijden (cello), Petr Limonov (piano) Champs Hill Records CHRCD136
‘I wasn’t expecting it at all,’ says Laura van der Heijden, when she learns her debut recording – our March 2018 Recording of the Month – has won Newcomer of the Year. ‘I was already pleased with how the CD was received, but to get this extra amazing news was exciting.’
The 22-year-old cellist, who won the BBC Young Musician competition in 2012 and is now gearing up for her music degree finals at St John’s College, Cambridge, lavished care on her recital album with pianist Petr Limonov. ‘I wanted my first CD to mean a lot to me and to be a snapshot of who I was in that moment,’ she says.
That meant a turn to Soviet music from around 1948. ‘My cello teacher is Russian and I started learning the language a few years ago,’ says Van der Heijden. ‘I liked the Prokofiev Sonata and I was taken with the beauty of the Myaskovsky Sonata. And I was interested in how music of that time period was affected by Stalin’s regime.’
And how does she hope her career will develop? ‘Lots of collaboration with different people. When I feel the most connected and emotionally involved, that’s when I am the most satisfied.’