With his highly virtuosic yet unpretentious style, pianist Martin Helmchen is a rapidly rising star. Born in Berlin in 1982, he has already performed with several of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert Blomstedt, Birmingham Symphony under Andris Nelsons, London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski, Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev and the NHK Symphony in Japan. Mr. Helmchen made a sensational U.S. orchestral debut in 2011 playing the Schumann Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi at Tanglewood.
Following equally successful debuts with the Saint Louis Symphony, Houston Symphony and the Oregon Symphony, Mr. Helmchen will debut during the 2013/14 season with the Dallas Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom. He will make his Washington D. C. recital debut at Kennedy Center in May 2014 and his New York Philharmonic debut in December 2014. Worldwide engagements during the current season include the City of Birmingham Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gürzenich-Orchester/Cologne, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Philharmonia Orchestra/London, Prague Symphony, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Svetlanov Symphony/Moscow, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchestra/Zurich.
Having served as Artist-in-Residence with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra during the 2011/12 season, Mr. Helmchen has also appeared with the BBC Symphony/London, Bournemouth Symphony, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie/Bremen, Dresden Philharmonic, DSO/Berlin, Hallé Orchestra/Manchester, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Giuseppe Verdi Symphony/Milan, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, London Philharmonia, NDR/Hamburg, Netherlands Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de France, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, RSO/Berlin and the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra.
In collaborations with orchestras worldwide, Martin Helmchen has worked with such renowned conductors as David Afkham, Marc Albrecht, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Sir Mark Elder, Lawrence Foster, Edward Gardner, Valery Gergiev, Hans Graf, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Philippe Herreweghe, Pablo Heras-Casado, Marek Janowski, Michail Jurowski, Vladimir Jurowski, Bernhard Klee, Jiri Kout, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Andris Nelsons, Sir Roger Norrington, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Christoph Poppen, Markus Poschner, Michael Sanderling, Heinrich Schiff, Marcus Stenz, Christoph Urbanski, Maximiano Valdés, Gilbert Varga, and David Zinman, among others.
Also an enthusiastic recitalist, Mr. Helmchen has performed at prestigious venues around the world. In addition to recent engagements at The Frick Collection/New York, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall (with cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker), the Coast Recital Socity, San Fransisco Performances, ArtSpring, Wigmore Hall and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, he also appears regularly at major German festivals, as well as the Schubertiade, Lockenhaus and Marlboro.
An active recording artist, Mr. Helmchen’s debut disc of Mozart concertos with the Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic was released in September 2007 through his exclusive contract with PentaTone. He will make his second disc with the same orchestra in 2012/13. A recording of works by Schubert, his first solo CD, won an ECHO Award in 2009. Other discs for PentaTone include the Mendelssohn concertos, the Schumann and Dvorák concertos, and the highly acclaimed complete works of Schubert for violin and piano with Julia Fischer.
With a passion for chamber music, largely ignited by his early collaborations with the late cellist Boris Pergamenschikow, Mr. Helmchen now performs regularly with Heinrich Schiff and Marie-Elisabeth Hecker. Other partners include Juliane Banse, Veronika Eberle, Julia Fischer, Sharon Kam, Gidon Kremer, Sabine Meyer, Christian Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt and Tabea Zimmermann. Last summer, he was re-invited to participate in Elena Bashkirova’s International Chamber Music Festival in Jerusalem.
Martin Helmchen studied at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Conservatory with Galina Iwanzowa and later with Arie Vardie at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover, as well as with William Grant Naboré. His career took off when he won the 2001 Clara Haskil International Piano Competition at the age of nineteen. Other distinctions include a fellowship from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in 2005, the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2006 and participation in the BBC New Generation Artist program from 2005-2007.