Cellist Lydia Hillerudh was born into a musical family in Stockholm, Sweden. She began her cello studies at seven years old with Elisabeth Lysell-Bjermkvist, whom she studied with for twelve years. In 2012, Lydia won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was mentored by Mats Lidström and Robert Cohen. She graduated with Distinction in 2017, and whilst studying there she was also awarded the Barbirolli Prize for her solo playing and outstanding studentship. In 2022, Lydia was awarded one of the most coveted awards for Swedish string players from the Järnåker foundation.
Lydia is currently studying at the Advanced Course in Interpretation at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where her professor is Finnish cellist Johannes Rostamo.
Lydia is active mainly as a chamber musician and soloist in the UK and Sweden, performing often with Tritium Trio (clarinet, cello and piano trio) and Mila Piano Trio (violin, cello and piano trio). She has also performed with other groups, such as Ensemble Mirage, Fitzroy String Quartet, ensemble x.y and An Assembly, and appeared on BBC Radio 3 with the former.
Recently, she has also played with some of Sweden’s finest chamber orchestras, Musica Vitae, Västerås Sinfonietta and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
With her main chamber music partners, Jernej Albreht (clarinet) and Joseph Havlat (piano), she is a founding member of Tritium Trio. With this group, Lydia has won several prizes, including the Harold Craxton Prize and Isaacs/Pirani Trio Prize, as well as the Audience Prize in the coveted St-Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition. Their focus is now on expanding the repertoire for the ensemble and work closely with contemporary composers.
In recent years, she has performed at Romsey Chamber Music Festival, Buxton International Festival and Dartington Summer School and Festival. She has performed cello concertos by Schumann, Haydn and Elgar with Henley Symphony Orchestra, Newbury String Ensemble, Wyatt Sinfonia and the Nordic Youth Orchestra.
Some highlights from the past year has included performances at Ashwell Music Festival, St Stephen’s South Dulwich Summer Chamber Music series, toured Scotland with the Fitzroy String Quartet, Schumann Cello Concerto with Henley Symphony Orchestra, and returned to Romsey Chamber Music Festival.
Teaching has always formed a fundamental part of Lydia’s musical activities, as she strongly believes in the impact good teachers have on young musicians. Currently she teaches a small class at Lilla Akademien, Stockholm (the Junior Academy), having previously taught mainly in the UK, at Centre for Young Musicians, St Albans Music Academy, Music Masters and Play for Progress.
As previously mentioned, Lydia was born into a musical family – in fact, she is the oldest out of seven sisters who all grew up playing the cello. The sisters wanted to play together for family concerts and other occasions, only, there wasn’t a huge amount of music available for seven cellists with different abilities!
As the eldest, Lydia rose to the task and discovered that she had both a passion and a talent for arranging music. Her arrangements for string- and cello ensembles have now been performed across the UK and all over Scandinavia. Lydia’s most recent arrangement is a clarinet trio version of Gershwin’s ’Rhapsody in Blue’, premiered by Tritium Trio in 2021.