The 17-year-old cellist Laura van der Heijden might strike you as a normal A-level student from Haywards Heath.

She introduced her programme in a direct, unaffected manner, free of the solemnity sometimes associated with classical recitals.

“Playing in Brighton feels like home” she said, before explaining the musical challenges of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata In A Minor, adding sweetly: “I hope you like it as much as I do”.

Van der Heijden won BBC Young Musician Of The Year aged just 15, and has since established herself as maybe the most exciting young classical musician in the country. Her stage presence immediately suggests calm assurance, the confidence born of shedloads of practice.

She prefers not to smother every note in vibrato and to communicate the rich tones of her 1906 Pedrazzini cello with strength and clarity.

Her playing is so technically secure - “her bow control is insane,” said one watching music scholar - that there is no sense of chasing the music, but rather of an artist in full command.

The Beethoven Sonata In C Major was accomplished but somewhat two-dimensional in comparison with the Arpeggione. It felt as if the lights had been switched on, and the lively melody of the Allegro moderato and the sweet longing of the Adagio were the highlights of this outstanding performance.

Van der Heijden will be back in town next year to perform with the Brighton Youth Orchestra String Ensemble. Beg a ticket.