The cellist Laura van der Heijden has won BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer of the Year award for her critically acclaimed debut album ‘1948’ (Champs Hill Records, 2018) which focuses on music for cello and piano from the Soviet era.

The former Young Musician of the Year Winner (2012) and pianist Petr Limonov were presented with the award last night at a ceremony at King’s Place, London.

Van der Heijden and Limonov’s recording also won a prestigious Edison Klassiek Award last year. Awarded annually for outstanding achievements in the music industry, the Edison Award is one of the music world’s oldest prizes.

Speaking about this latest accolade, Laura van der Heijden comments: “I am delighted that 1948 has been awarded BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer of the Year. Making this CD has been an incredibly rewarding project, musically, emotionally, and intellectually. My appreciation of the immense value of great art, music, and literature in Russian-speaking countries sparked the initial idea for 1948. The further we delved into the lives of the composers included on the CD, the more important their relationships to the political climate of the time became to me. These powerful works provide us with the opportunity to try to understand their ways of coping in such a difficult time.”

Petr Limonov adds: “It is a great honour for me to be a part of this project which focuses on the different ways composers of the time responded to both the meaningless violence of the Second World War and restrictions imposed on freedom of artistic expression. These problems are truly timeless and universal, and I believe directing public’s attention towards them is a duty of every artist of today.”

Champs Hill Records’ Alexander Van Ingen says: “It was intensely rewarding to record with Laura and Petr for this album; they are both exceptional musicians with strong command of their instruments and a deep understanding of this music. Theirs is a first-rate musicianship and partnership, and I am delighted that this album has won recognition from both BBC Music Magazine Awards and the Edison Awards: much deserved. As a label, Champs Hill Records aims to support the very best young, emerging talent, and Laura & Petr are just that - exceptional young artists with something to say. It is a privilege for us to record with them and we wish them every success.”

 

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