Surrey Mozart Players

Saturday 21 February 2020 - The Electric Theatre , Guildford : 7.30pm

Laura van der Heijden ... Cello Soloist

Winner of the 2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, Laura van der Heijden has been making a name for herself as a very special emerging talent, captivating audiences and critics alike with her imaginative interpretations and probing musicianship.

2018 marked the global release of Laura’s critically acclaimed debut album “1948”, featuring Russian music for cello and piano with pianist Petr Limonov. It won the 2018 Edison Klassiek Award, broadcast live on national TV in the Netherlands. The CD has been hailed as a “dazzling, imaginative and impressive” debut recording.

Laura was born in England to Dutch-Swiss parents and gave her first public performance at the age of 9. Since 2008 she has been a student of the renowned British-Russian cellist Leonid Gorokhov, and participates regularly in masterclasses by David Geringas, Ralph Kirshbaum and Miklós Perényi. She is currently in her final year studying for her Bachelor’s Degree in Music at St John’s College, Cambridge, while also maintaining a busy concert diary.

Laura has performed with leading orchestras such as the Philharmonia, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, European Union Chamber and English Chamber Orchestras. She has also given debuts in Holland, Germany, New Zealand, and in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the opening concert of the inaugural BBC Proms Australia, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Last season’s highlights include a recital with Fazil Say at Zürich Tonhalle, a performance of Schumann’s cello concerto with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, a UK tour with IMS Prussia Cove, as well as her debut with the Argovia Philharmonic, and at Wigmore Hall in a BBC lunchtime recital.

Chamber music is immensely important to Laura. She has collaborated with Tom Poster, Huw Watkins, Petr Limonov, Matthew MacDonald, and Krzysztof Chorzelski and regularly participates in international chamber music courses and festivals.

This season will see Laura give her debut in Japan with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and at the Musashino Cultural Foundation, in Italy with the London Mozart Players, in the UK with the Hallé Orchestra under Karl-Heinz Steffens and in Ireland at West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

Laura plays a late 17th-century cello by Francesco Rugeri of Cremona, on generous loan from a private collection. She is an Ambassador for both the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and Brighton Youth Orchestra.


Susanna Riddell ....... Guest Conductor

Susanna Riddell - UK Based conductor:

As a cellist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Susanna gathered more than 20 years’ experience working on the international stage, with world class conductors and soloists. It is here that she came to work on a regular basis with her conducting mentor, the LPO’s Principal Conductor - Vladimir Jurowski. She was appointed to the position of Director of the Centre for Wessex Young Musicians and the national award winning 100 member Wessex Youth Orchestra (based in Poole, Dorset) in 2007.

No stranger to large venues, she has conducted in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, and her special interest in working with young musicians and music conservatoire students has led to touring with both the Royal Holloway University London and Southampton Symphony Orchestras, as well as projects at the Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music. As Music Director of the Southampton University Symphony Orchestra from 2016 to 2018, she was able to dedicate her time to nine exceptionally well received concerts whilst also guiding the ensemble to two consecutive record-breaking seasons.

During the last three seasons, Susanna has increasingly undertaken performances in both the UK and across Europe. She continues to develop links with new orchestras and looks forward to various new concert projects including this performance with the Surrey Mozart Players, as well as further international touring, now in the pipeline for the 2019-20 season.


Here are the websites and social media for Laura :


... and for Susanna