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MARTIN
HELMCHEN
PIANO

„Mr. Helmchen has a noble bearing and a noble sound, shaping lines as elegant and clean as a Greek temple’s.“
THE NEW YORK TIMES

ConcertsDiscography

Biography

Martin Helmchen Piano

There are shooting stars who arrive on the concert scene like a bolt from the blue but then quickly disappear again. And there are musicians who gradually play their way into the limelight and at some point become an indispensable part of musical life. Winning the Clara Haskil Competition would normally have catapulted the 19-year-old Martin Helmchen to stardom in the classical world. The concert agencies and record companies proceeded slowly at first, however, and Martin Helmchen’s career developed gradually but steadily, for which he is extremely grateful in retrospect. “I had enough time and freedom to develop as an artist.”

Born in 1982, Martin Helmchen was the first student from the former West Berlin to attend the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Musikgymnasium, a school specializing in music, then studied at the Hanns Eisler School of Music with Galina Iwanzowa and in Hannover with the legendary Arie Vardi. Equipped with the virtuosic qualifications of the Russian school, Martin Helmchen developed his own musical approach and established himself among the elite of the piano world.

He appears with the leading orchestras in Boston and Chicago, London and Cleveland, Paris and Tokyo and with the major German radio orchestras. He reached the pinnacle in his debuts with the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonics and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has collaborated regularly with such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Philippe Herreweghe, Vladimir Jurowski, the late Sir Neville Marriner, Andris Nelsons, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Michael Sanderling and, in particular, his long-time musical partner and supporter Christoph von Dohnányi.

Martin Helmchen is not a showman but rather impresses audiences with his “absolutely determined approach,” Christophe Huss wrote in the Canadian newspaper Le Devoir. “Helmchen is one of those artists who have an aesthetically and culturally well thought-out vision of a work, and their fingers precisely reflect every facet of this universe. Helmchen’s control over the tone, refined dynamics and rhythmic mastery leave one speechless.”

“Virtuosity is great fun for me,” he says. Yet he never succumbs to the temptation of impressing his audience primarily with speed and effect. A profound musical interpretation and linear subtlety are more important to him, and in the long run his unpretentious, expressive playing, which achieves a remarkable balance between intellect and intuition, is all the more captivating.

It is revealing that chamber music, the “most natural and most exhilarating form of music making”, is especially important to Martin Helmchen. He was particularly influenced in this genre by cellists Boris Pergamenschikow and Heinrich Schiff and performs regularly with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Veronika Eberle, Julia Fischer, Antoine Tamestit, Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas, Carolin Widmann, Juliane Banse and Matthias Goerne. He has been an associate professor at the Kronberg Academy since 2010.

Martin Helmchen’s CD recordings include piano concertos by Mozart, Schumann, Dvořák, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and George Benjamin as well as solo works and chamber music by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, for the most part on the Pentatone label. Together with his wife, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, he is also active in the work of the Music Road Rwanda project, which was launched by his wife.

Press

Concerts

Mon 01.05.2017
Kammermusik: Schwetzingen - Trio

Schwetzinger Schloss, Germany

Franz Schubert: Klaviertrio Es-Dur D 929 op. 100
Interval
Antonin Dvorák: Klaviertrio Nr. 3 f-Moll op. 65 (1883)

Antje Weithaas, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker

Tue 02.05.2017
Rezital: Brüssel

BOZAR MUSIC, Belgium

Robert Schumann: 3 Romanzen op. 94 für Violoncello und Klavier
Antonin Dvorák: Waldesruhe (Klid) für Violoncello und Klavier B 173

Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Steven Isserlis

Thu 04.05.2017
Rezital: Schwetzingen

Schwetzinger Schloss, Germany

Franz Schubert: 13 Variationen über ein Thema von Anselm Hüttenbrenner D 576 (1817)
Helmut Lachenmann: Fünf Variationen über ein Thema von Schubert (1957)
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Variations sérieuses d-Moll op. 54 für Klavier
Interval
Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli Variationen op. 120 (1819-23)

Sat 06.05.2017
Liederabend: Schwetzingen

Schwetzinger Schloss, Germany

Franz Schubert: Grenzen der Menschheit D 716 (Goethe) (1821)
Hanns Eisler: Hollywooder Liederbuch, 37. Hölderlin-Fragmente: I An die Hoffnung
Franz Schubert: Der Wanderer D 489 op. 4,1 (Schmidt von Lübeck)
Hanns Eisler: Hollywooder Liederbuch, 38. II Andenken
Franz Schubert: Im Frühling D 882 op. posth. 101,1 (Schulze) (1826)
Hanns Eisler: Hollywooder Liederbuch, 39. III Elegie 1943
Franz Schubert: Der Zwerg D 771 op. 22 Nr. 1 (v. Collin)
Hanns Eisler: Hollywooder Liederbuch, 40. IV Die Heimat, 41. V An eine Stadt
Franz Schubert: Lebensmut D 883 (Ernst Schulze)
Hanns Eisler: Hollywooder Liederbuch, 42. VI Erinnerung
Interval
Franz Liszt: Sonette nach Petrarca S 270 b Nr. 1-3 (1847) für Singstimme und Klavier
Hugo Wolf: Drei Lieder nach Gedichten von Michelangelo (1897)
Maurice Ravel: Don Quichotte à Dulcinée (1920/25) 3 Chansons für Bariton und Klavier (Orchester)

Dietrich Henschel

Thu 11.05.2017
Paris

Cité de la musique - Philharmonie de Paris, France

Johannes Brahms: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 2 B-Dur op. 83

La Chambre Philharmonique

Emmanuel Krivine

Fri 12.05.2017
Caen

Théâtre de Caen, France

Johannes Brahms: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 2 B-Dur op. 83

Tue 16.05.2017
Grenoble

MC2, Maison de la Culture, France

Johannes Brahms: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 2 B-Dur op. 83

Wed 17.05.2017
Aix en Provence

Grand Théâtre de Provence, France

Johannes Brahms: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 2 B-Dur op. 83

Thu 25.05.2017
London

Royal Festival Hall, London, United Kingdom

Johannes Brahms: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 1 d-Moll op. 15

Philharmonia Orchestra

Herbert Blomstedt

Fri 26.05.2017
Bath

The Forum Bath, United Kingdom

Johannes Brahms: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 1 d-Moll op. 15

Philharmonia Orchestra

Herbert Blomstedt

Sun 28.05.2017
Canterbury

Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, United Kingdom

Johannes Brahms: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 1 d-Moll op. 15

Philharmonia Orchestra

Herbert Blomstedt

Wed 14.06.2017
Kammermusik: Frankfurt

Festsaal Palmengarten, Germany

Ludwig van Beethoven: 12 Variationen F-Dur op. 66 über ''Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen'' aus Mozarts Zauberflöte
Franz Schubert: Sonate für Arpeggione (Violoncello) und Klavier a-Moll D 821 (1824)
Interval
Ludwig van Beethoven: 7 Variationen WoO 46 Es-Dur über das Duett ''Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen'' aus Mozarts Zauberflöte für Violoncello und Klavier
Igor Strawinsky: Suite italienne für Violoncello und Klavier (1932)

Marie-Elisabeth Hecker

Sun 18.06.2017
Rezital: Heimbach Festival "Spannungen" - Eröffnungskonzert

Wasserkraftwerk Heimbach der RWE Power AG, Germany

Antonin Dvorák: Romantische Stücke B 150 op. 75 - 4 Stücke für Violine und Klavier

Martin Helmchen, Veronika Eberle

Wed 21.06.2017
Kammermusik: Schubertiade

Angelika-Kauffmann-Saal, Austria

Franz Schubert: Klaviertrio Es-Dur D 897 op. posth. 148 ''Notturno''
Franz Schubert: Klaviertrio Es-Dur D 929 op. 100

Christoph Prégardien, Carolin Widmann, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker

Sat 24.06.2017
Kammermusik: Heimbach

Wasserkraftwerk Heimbach der RWE Power AG, Germany

Josef Suk: Quartett für Klavier und Streichtrio op. 1 a-Moll

Martin Helmchen, Antje Weithaas, Maximilian Hornung, Vicky Powell

Sun 25.06.2017
Rezital: Heimbach

Wasserkraftwerk Heimbach der RWE Power AG, Germany

Antonin Dvorák: Waldesruhe (Klid) für Violoncello und Klavier B 173

Martin Helmchen, Tanja Tetzlaff

Wed 28.06.2017
Zürich

Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 2 d-Moll op. 40

Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich

Philippe Herreweghe

Thu 29.06.2017
Zürich

Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 2 d-Moll op. 40

Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich

Philippe Herreweghe

Fri 30.06.2017
Zürich

Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 2 d-Moll op. 40

Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich

Philippe Herreweghe

Sat 01.07.2017
Kammermusik: Weil der Stadt

Klösterle, Germany

Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonate für Viola da gamba (Cello) und Cembalo Nr. 3 g-Moll BWV 1029
Igor Strawinsky: Suite italienne für Violoncello und Klavier (1932)
Interval
Ludwig van Beethoven: 12 Variationen F-Dur op. 66 über ''Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen'' aus Mozarts Zauberflöte
Benjamin Britten: Sonate für Violoncello und Klavier op. 65 in C

Marie-Elisabeth Hecker

Mon 03.07.2017
Evian

Le Grange au Lac, France

Johannes Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem op. 45 (Fassung für Sopran, Bariton, Chor und 2 Klaviere)

Howard Arman, Nicholas Angelich, Krešimir Stražanac, Rachel Harnisch, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks

Sat 15.07.2017
Kammermusik: Passau

Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Germany

Fri 28.07.2017
Kammermusik: Marvao - Trio

Igreja de São Tiago, Portugal

Joseph Haydn: Klaviertrio C-Dur, Hob. XV:27
Zoltán Kodály: Duo für Violine und Violoncello op. 7
Interval
Toru Takemitsu: Between Tides (1993) für Klaviertrio
Johannes Brahms: Klaviertrio Nr. 3 c-Moll op. 101 (1886)

Augustin Hadelich, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker

Sun 30.07.2017
Kammermusik: Marvao - Duo

Igreja de São Tiago, Portugal

Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonate für Viola da gamba (Cello) und Cembalo Nr. 2 D-Dur BWV 1028
Ludwig van Beethoven: 12 Variationen F-Dur op. 66 über ''Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen'' aus Mozarts Zauberflöte
Igor Strawinsky: Suite italienne für Violoncello und Klavier (1932)

Marie-Elisabeth Hecker

Sat 19.08.2017
Kammermusik: Grafenegg

Schloss Grafenegg, Austria

Sergej Rachmaninoff: Etudes tableaux op. 39 Nr. 1-9 (1917), 1. c-Moll: Allegro agitato, 7. c-Moll: Lento
Robert Schumann: Klavierquintett Es-Dur op. 44 (1842)

Brahms Ensemble

Video

Martin Helmchen & Orchestra

Beethoven – Concerto pour piano n°3, Premier mouvement
Martin Helmchen

Martin Helmchen Recital

Verbier Festival:
Martin Helmchen plays Liszt and Beethoven

Discography

Johannes Brahms,
Cello Sonatas
CD Cover

Marie-Elisabeth Hecker – cello
Martin Helmchen – piano

Cello Sonata No.1 in e minor, OP.38
Cello Sonata No.2 in f major, OP.99
Alpha Classics
Released: 2016

Vincent d’ Indy,
Camille Saint- Saens,
Ernest Chausson
CD Cover

Martin Helmchen – piano
Orchestra de la Suisse Romande
Marek Janowski – conductor

Vincent d’Indy, Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français
Camille Saint- Saens, Symphony No. 2 in A minor Op. 55 (1859)
Ernest Chausson, Soir de fête 14. 42 & Symphonic poem Op. 32

PTC 5186 357
Released: 01.09.2011

Felix Mendelssohn
The Piano Concertos & Rondo brilliant, Op.29
CD Cover

Martin Helmchen – piano
Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Philippe Herreweghe – conductor

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40
Rondo brilliant, Op.29

PTC 5186 366
Released: 01.09.2010

Franz Schubert,
Complete Works for violin and piano Vol. II
CD Cover

Julia Fischer – violin/ piano
Martin Helmchen – piano

Sonata for Violin and Piano in A, D.574 “Duo”
Fantasia in C, for Violin and Piano D.934
Fantasy in F minor, D. 940 (Op.103)

PTC 5186 348
Released: 01.04.2010

Robert Schumann,
Antonín Dvorák
CD Cover

Martin Helmchen – piano
Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg
Marc Albrecht – conductor

Robert Schumann, Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54
Antonín Dvorák Piano Concerto in G minor, Op.33

PTC 5186 333
Released: 01.10.2009

Franz Schubert,
Complete Works for violin and piano Vol. I
CD Cover

Julia Fischer – violin
Martin Helmchen – piano

Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano No.1 in D, D.384
Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano No.2 in A minor, D.385
Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano No.3 in G minor, D.408
Rondo for Violin and Piano in B minor “Rondo Brillant”, D.895

PTC 5186 347
Released: 01.08.2009

Franz Schubert,
Piano Quintet in A, D.667
“The Trout”
CD Cover

Martin Helmchen – piano
Christian Tetzlaff – violin
Antoine Tamestit – viola
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker – violoncello

Piano Quintet in A, D.667 – “The Trout”
Variations on “Trockne Blumen” for Flute and Piano, D.802
Adagio in E flat, Op. posth. 148 D.897 “Notturno”

PTC 5186 334
Released: 01.03.2009

Johannes Brahms, Sonatas & Trio
CD Cover

Sharon Kam – clarinet
Martin Helmchen – piano
Gustav Rivinius – violoncello

Sonata for clarinet and piano in f minor op. 120, No. 1
Sonata for clarinet and piano in E flat major op. 120, No. 2
Trio for piano, clarinet and violoncello in a minor op.114

Berlin Classics 0016382 BC
Released: 2009

Contact

General Management

Konzertdirektion Schmid
Erdmuthe Pirlich

Erdmuthe.pirlich@kdschmid.de
+49 (0) 511 3660769

UK, Nordic, Australia and New Zealand

Konzertdirektion Schmid UK
Emma-Jane Wyatt

Emma-jane.wyatt@kdschmid.co.uk
+44 (0) 73950910

Canada, North and South America

Schmidt Artists International, Inc.
M. Patricia Handy

mph@schmidtart.com
+1 212 421 8500

France

Caroline Martin Musique
Caroline Martin

caroline.martin.musique@orange.fr
+33 02 54 30 67 83

Italy

Cesare Venturi Music Management
Cesare Venturi

ceventu@alice.it
+39 045 800 92 84

Japan

Kajimoto
Hiromi Oe

hiromi.oe@kajimotomusic.com
+81 33574 0969

Spain

Musiespaña
Rosa García

rgarcia@musiespana.com
+34 91 591 32 90