BBC Young Musician Laura set for debut in Peebles


As the Eastgate Theatre celebrates its 10th birthday, Music in Peebles has landed a coup by hosting a young BBC star.

The concert on Tuesday, February 18, at 7.30pm, features BBC Young Musician of the Year cellist Laura van der Heijden on her debut Scottish appearance, with Mana Oguchi on piano.

Laura won the prestigious competition at the age of 15 with a performance of Walton’s Cello Concerto that was described in The Times as ‘mesmerising’.

The youngest daughter of a Swiss mother and Dutch father, Laura started to play the cello at the age of six, and gave her first public performance aged nine.

Although she has been studying at the Royal College of Music since 2005, she still attends her local secondary school in Sussex where she is currently working towards ‘A’ Levels in German, Russian and Music.

Laura will be accompanied in this concert by Mana Oguchi, one of the finest of the new generation of Japanese pianists, who started even younger than Laura – she has been playing the piano since the age of three.

President of Music in Peebles, John Fox said: “We were absolutely thrilled when we learned that Laura would be able to include Peebles in her February tour.

“Our excitement grew even more when we realised that we would be hosting her Scottish debut.

“It’s a marvellous way for Music in Peebles to help celebrate our town’s Creative Places Award and the 10th anniversary year of the Eastgate Theatre, of which we are all so proud.”

Laura has chosen her two favourite masterworks by Brahms and Beethoven for the programme, plus two less familiar works, by Benjamin Britten and Russian composer Alfred Schnittke.

Tickets are available at £13 (£6 if accompanying a child under 12) from the Eastgate box office (01721 725777) or online at

Entry is free for all school students and Music in Peebles members. Full details of all Music in Peebles concerts can be found at