Violinist Laura Samuel has been named leader of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She will take up the post at the start of the 2012–13 season, though she will perform as leader designate with the orchestra at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

Born in 1976, Samuel studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky at London’s Royal College of Music. While there, she co-founded the Belcea Quartet, which she performed with for 16 years. In 2010 Samuel joined the Nash Ensemble and the London Bridge Ensemble. She performs on the 1731 'Payne', 'McThuen' Stradivari, formerly owned by Siegmund Nissel.

Samuel currently teaches at the Chamber Studio at Kings Place in London. Previously, she has taught chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's previous leader, Elizabeth Layton, left the orchestra in spring 2010 in order to move to Australia. She has recently been appointed violin teacher at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide.