Martin Helmchen

Debut with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra: November 10, 2017

The kind of game that delights in itself

Martin Helmchen is one of the most sought-after pianists and has been performing on the world’s most important stages for decades. In particular, the originality and intensity of his interpretations, which he presents with impressive tonal sensitivity and technical finesse, distinguish him as a musician. In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious Gramophone Music Award for his recording of all of Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano concertos with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Andrew Manze, released by Alpha Classics.

As a soloist, Martin Helmchen has performed with numerous renowned orchestras, including the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra London, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra. He regularly works with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Manfred Honeck, Andrew Manze, Kazuki Yamada, Vladimir Jurowski, Andris Nelsons, Christoph von Dohnányi, Jakub Hrůša, Klaus Mäkelä, Paavo Järvi, Sakari Oramo, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Michael Sanderling and David Zinman.

Chamber music has a special significance for him – a passion for which Boris Pergamenschikow gave the essential impulses. His close chamber music partners include his wife Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Julian Prégardien, Augustin Hadelich, Antje Weithaas and Carolin Widmann.

Highlights of the 2022/2023 season include concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, with whom Martin Helmchen will present three different projects. Recitals will take him to the Boston Celebrities Series, the Konzerthaus Dortmund, Toppan Hall Tokyo, the Thomaskirche Leipzig, and the Thüringer Bachwochen, among others. With his wife Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Martin Helmchen has commissioned a double concerto for cello and piano from York Höller, which they premiered at the Ruhr Piano Festival in June 2022 and will repeat with the Kremerata Baltica at the opening of the Casals Forum and with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin at the Ultraschall Festival in the 2022/23 season. Concerts with Frank Peter Zimmermann are planned at the Rheingau Music Festival, in London, Luxembourg, Bern and Monaco.

Martin Helmchen is an exclusive artist with Alpha Classics. Most recently, the highly acclaimed album “Novelletten und Gesänge der Frühe” with piano works by Robert Schumann was released in March 2022. May 2021 saw the release of his recording of Carl Maria von Weber’s Konzertstück with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin under Christoph Eschenbach. His past releases have included Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, Messiaen’s “Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus,” and a duo album with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker of Schumann and Brahms works.

Born in Berlin in 1982, he first studied with Galina Ivanzova at the HfM “Hanns Eisler” Berlin, later switching to Arie Vardi at the HMTM Hannover; other mentors are William Grant Naboré and Alfred Brendel. His career received a first decisive impulse when he won the “Concours Clara Haskil” in 2001. Since 2010 Martin Helmchen is Associate Professor for Chamber Music at the Kronberg Academy.

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