Winner of BBC Young Musician 2012 announced

Date: 14.05.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.16
Category: BBC Two; Radio 3
At the end of a thrilling and closely contested Final, cellist Laura van der Heijden, 15, from East Sussex, has been announced the winner of BBC Young Musician 2012.

Her co-finalists, recorder player, Charlotte Barbour-Condini and pianist, Yuanfan Yang also thrilled the audience with their performances.

The Final, held on Sunday 13 May at The Sage Gateshead, was broadcast on BBC Two, BBC HD and Radio 3 and was the climax of months of qualifying rounds, with 25 talented musicians making it to five Category Finals.

The five semi-finalists were then reduced to three finalists, who delighted the audience at Hall One with their exceptional performances. They all performed a concerto of their choice with Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Kirill Karabits.

Laura van der Heijden receives the coveted title of BBC Young Musician 2012, a £2,000 cash prize and a trophy, specially designed by Swansea designer jeweller Mari Thomas.

15 year old Laura van der Heijden was born in Sussex, a daughter to a Dutchman and a Swiss mother. She started her musical education with the recorder at the age of 4, which was soon followed by the piano and then the cello at the age of 6. She passed her Grade 8 Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams for piano with Sue Harvey and cello with Marina Logie at the age of 10, both with distinction.

In 2005 Laura joined the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music where she enjoys all forms of ensemble playing. She studies piano with Emily Jeffrey and has also successfully competed as a pianist in the UK and in Switzerland.

Since late 2008, Laura has been a cello student of the British-Russian cellist Leonid Gorokhov. Last year they performed together at the Brighton Festival and in Germany.

Laura’s first public performance as a cellist was at the age of 9 with the Jupiter Chamber Orchestra. Since then, she has given many recitals and played with various orchestras including recent performances of the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Worthing Philharmonic and Dvorak Cello Concerto with Somerset County Youth Orchestra.