Laura van der Heijden
Associate Artist 2016-2017
“…a completely extraordinary performance of incredible creative intensity…” Nicholas Daniel / BBC3 Radio / May 2012
“…mesmerising performance of the rarely-played Walton Cello Concerto…” Richard Morrison / Times / May 2012
Winner of the BBC Young Musician Competition in 2012, cellist Laura van der Heijden has already made a name for herself as a very special emerging talent.
Born in England in 1997 as the youngest daughter of a Dutch father and a Swiss mother, Laura’s musical studies started on recorder at the age of four. After learning with Marina Logie on cello, Laura had gained ABRSM grade 8 distinctions on both cello and piano by the age of ten.
Laura’s first public performance as a cellist was at the age of 9 with the Jupiter Chamber Orchestra. From 2005 to 2014 Laura was a student at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, where she learned piano with Emily Jeffrey and participated in many ensembles. Since 2008 Laura has been a student of the renowned British-Russian cellist Leonid Gorokhov. Additionally, she is participating in masterclasses with David Geringas, Ralph Kirshbaum and Miklós Perényi.
During her young life Laura has already had many prizes and awards bestowed on her. At the age of 15, Laura was awarded the title of BBC Young Musician 2012, performing Walton’s Cello Concerto with Kirill Karabits and the Northern Sinfonia at The Sage, Gateshead. In 2010 she won “First Prize with Distinction” 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 Chamber Orchestra at Zurich Tonhalle. She was also the 2011 winner of the Marjorie Humby competition at the Royal College of Music, the 2011 Beckenham Musician of the Year and 2012 Woking Young Musician of the Year. She was awarded the Director’s Prize (2012) and more recently the Esther Coleman Prize (2014) for outstanding contributions to the RCM Junior Department. In September 2014 Laura was awarded the Landgraf von Hessen Prize at the Kronberg Academy’s prestigious international masterclasses.
Last season Laura gave her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and with Sinfonia Cymru in Shostakvich’s Cello Concerto. She also performed the Elgar concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as part of World War I anniversary concerts, with the European Union Chamber Orchestra and with the London Mozart Players who recently named her “Young Artist in Residence”. In between she gave many sold-out recitals, particularly in this country but also abroad, with pianists Tom Poster and Alison Rhind.
After completing her A-levels, Laura is currently spending a gap year dedicated to the cello. It includes her debuts in Germany, New Zealand and Australia, performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, extensive recital tours in the UK, as well as new chamber music projects with Peter Limonov, and with the trio she formed with Huw Watkins and violinist Tobias Feldmann. Furthermore, Laura was recently chosen by the Orpheum Stiftung in Switzerland, a foundation encouraging and assisting exceptionally talented young instrumental soloists. Under this umbrella she will appear in recital with Fazil Say at Zürich Tonhalle in September 2016. In October 2016 she will join St. John’s College Cambridge to extend and deepen her understanding and knowledge of music.
Laura plays a 1780 cello by Joseph Hill, loaned to her by the Boileau family, and is an Ambassador for both the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and Brighton Youth Orchestra.
Lucia Caruso and Pedro Da Silva
Resident composers 2016-2017
Lucía Caruso is an Argentinean-born composer and pianist based in New York City, whose numerous awards include the 2015 and 2016 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) Plus Award.
Caruso is the Artistic Director of the Manhattan Camerata, which she co-founded with her husband, composer/guitarist Pedro Henriques da Silva. This is the first ensemble to perform Transclassical music, a term created by Lucia to define their unique style of composition; grounded in classical technique, the compositions include improvisation and elements from a variety of cultures, incorporating world instruments in a range of styles and genres.
Her musical career has taken her across four continents and over a dozen countries. She has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the world, such as: the Versailles Palace; the Louvre Museum; and Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, France; Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, and Vanderbilt Hall at the Grand Central Station in New York City; Kennedy Center in Washington DC; Centro Cultural de Belém and the Monserrate Palace in Portugal; Auditorio Silvestre Revueltas in Mexico City; Bartók Radio in Budapest, Hungary; and the Kew Royal Palace in London. Caruso performed her works for piano and orchestra as a soloist with the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris and the London Metropolitan Orchestra in the UK. She also performed as a soloist twice with the National University of Cuyo Symphony Orchestra in Argentina and the National Youth Orchestra of Costa Rica. In April 2016 she had the great honor of premiering her composition “Titania’s Lullaby” for orchestra and choir for the 400th anniversary memorial of Shakespeare’s death at his church, the Holy Trinity Church of Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. On this occasion, Lucia performed the organ with the Choir and Orchestra of the Swan, mere paces from Shakespeare’s mortal remains.
Several of Caruso’s chamber and orchestral compositions were recorded in London at Abbey Road Studios by the London Metropolitan Orchestra. She was commissioned a ballet by the José Limón Dance Company, which premiered on April 29th, 2014, followed by six more sold-out performances at the Joyce Theater in New York City. She has been commissioned to write music for art and photographic exhibits at the Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum in Paris, Magazzini del Sale in Venice (Italy), and the Grand Central Station in New York City. She was as well commissioned for the composition of a cycle of five songs for soprano and orchestra, and for a piano concerto by the Sorel Foundation in New York City.
Caruso received her bachelor’s degree in classical piano from the Manhattan School of Music, and her Masters Degree in Composition and Film-Scoring from New York University.
Dr. Pedro H. da Silva is an award-winning composer, guitarist, and educator who plays eighteen different instruments and whose numerous accolades include winning the 2015 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) Plus Award.
A professor of composition and classical guitar at New York University, he has given master classes and lectures internationally, including a sold out course at MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) in New York City. In the last two years, da Silva was commissioned to write a ballet, a guitar concerto, and a symphonic song cycle. His compositions and performances have taken him to over a dozen countries in four continents, including some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Poisson Rouge, Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Station, and MoMA in New York; Kennedy Center in Washington DC; the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre Museum in Paris; Centro Cultural de Belém and the Monserrate Palace in Portugal; Auditorio Silvestre Revueltas in Mexico City; Bartók Radio in Budapest, Hungary; The Kew Royal Palace in London, England; and many others. Furthermore, he studied sitar in India with Neeraj Prem, who is a disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan’s gharana—the most respected musician in India of his lifetime.
Pedro da Silva recorded guitar for two films by Oscar-winning director Michel Gondry (“Be Kind Rewind” ft. Jack Black, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Sigourney Weaver, and Mos Def; and “Interior Design” from the “Tokyo” trilogy) and composed the score for seven films, including Richard Témtchine’s film “How to Seduce Difficult Women.”
Among da Silva’s twenty-five orchestral works, sixteen were written for the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, with whom he has performed as a soloist, as well as with other orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris, and the London Metropolitan Orchestra. He has been commissioned to write music for art and photographic exhibits at the Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum in Paris, Magazzini del Sale in Venice (Italy), and the Grand Central Station in New York City. He was commissioned for a ballet by the José Limón Dance Company, which premiered in seven sold-out performances at the Joyce Theatre in April 2014. His orchestral and chamber compositions were recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with the London Metropolitan Orchestra, where he also performed as a soloist.
Pedro da Silva is the Music Director of the Manhattan Camerata, which he co-founded with his wife, the composer and pianist Lucía Caruso. This chamber ensemble created and performs a new style of music called Transclassical, which celebrates and enhances classical music, incorporating elements from different cultures around the world in a variety of styles, genres, and exotic instruments. The Manhattan Camerata counts as its members three Grammy nominees including Daniel Binelli—arguably the greatest living bandoneón player.
Pedro da Silva holds a doctorate in composition from the Manhattan School of Music.