Fifteen-year-old Laura van der Heijden takes the £2000 prize
Fifteen-year-old Laura van der Heijden has been named the 2012 BBC Young Musician. The cellist triumphed in the final, held at The Sage, Gateshead and broadcast on BBC Two and Radio 3, performing Walton’s Cello Concerto with the Northern Sinfonia conducted by Kirill Karabits. Her fellow finalists were pianist Yuanfan Yang and recorder player Charlotte Barbour-Condini.
English-born van der Heijden, who began cello studies at the age of six, has been a student of cellist Leonid Gorokhov since 2008.
Walton’s Cello Concerto ‘is not played very often, but I think it deserves to be played,’ she said. ‘It’s a very imaginative piece’.
‘I really understand why she wanted to play the work,’ said Karabits. ‘She enters in the music and it changes her.’
The Young Musician contest is held every two years and has launched the careers of artists including Emma Johnson, Freddy Kempf, Natalie Clein, Guy Johnston and Nicola Benedetti.