Layla Ballard is a 19-year-old cellist from Edinburgh, Scotland. She began her studies at St Mary’s Music School with teacher and member of the Maxwell Quartet, Duncan Strachan and also studied composition with Tom Wilson and Jazz Piano with Chick Lyall.
She won the annual St Mary’s Music School Director’s Recital Prize Competition and was also a finalist of the Lord Clyde Concerto Competition. She won the Leonid Freidman Chamber Music prize as a member of the St Mary’s String Quartet in both 2020 and 2021.
She was part of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years and has played in high profile venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Konzerthaus in Berlin and Queens Hall in Edinburgh as both an orchestral player and soloist.
Since then she has debuted as a soloist and chamber musician at the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe 2022 and has played in masterclasses with Steven Isserlis, Nicolas Aldstadt, Gautier Capuçon, Leonid Gorokhov, Natasha Brofsky and Torleif Thedéen.
Her cello studies have continued at the Royal College of Music in London with teacher Melissa Phelps. She was awarded the Leverhulme Arts Scholar supported by the Geoffrey Boyes Memorial Scholarship and is also supported by the Dewar Arts Award and the Talent Unlimited Foundation. Her cello an English, Kennedy School make was kindly donated by a private owner.