Laura Armstrong

RPS Julius Isserlis Scholar 2021

A note from Laura

'I plan to use the RPS Isserlis Scholarship to study in Berlin with Ludwig Quandt, first principle cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker. I am hoping to travel to Berlin three times a year beginning in September and am so excited about the prospect of learning with such an incredible musician.

For me, studying with Ludwig Quandt is of particular benefit, as I was badly injured in a road accident. This has resulted in me having no feeling in my right hand and bowing arm, therefore his guidance on inventive ways to discover new methods of playing for me will be invaluable. The extra support with my injury will be so helpful and, I hope, will help me find new techniques to work around my difficulties. I feel so grateful to have been given this opportunity!'


Laura Jane Armstrong is an aspiring cellist currently studying at the Royal College of Music with Raphael Wallfisch. Previous to this she completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours degree at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Felix Schmidt and Benjamin Hughes. Laura has had the privilege of attending masterclasses with Ralph Kirshbaum, Steven Doane, Mario Brunello, Hannah Roberts Alexander Baillie, Gidon Kremer and Thomas Riebl, amongst others. Her contemporary classical work includes projects under the direction of Oliver Knussen, with mentoring from Harrison Birtwistle. Highlights include a newly commissioned work for BBC Radio 3 at Marsden Jazz Festival.

Laura has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Swedish radio, WBGO (New York radio station) and Medici TV. Laura has played at the Baltic Sea festival, the Royal Albert Hall and participated in the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, in Thomas Ades’ class. A keen chamber musician, Laura – as a member of the Tee Trio – were semi-finalists in the St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music competition, finalists for the Jacob Barnes Scholarship and toured Singapore. She has also toured Scandinavia as a member of the Estonian Festival Orchestra under the baton of Paavo Jarvi.

Laura is grateful to be supported by the Mamie and Ruth Waddell Memorial Prize, the Emma Newton Grant and the Denne Gilkes Memorial Fund, and very happy to have been recently awarded the RPS Julius Isserlis Scholarship.