With his highly virtuosic yet unpretentious style, Martin Helmchen has taken his place among the great pianists of his generation.
Born in Berlin in 1982, he has made a series of sensational U.S. orchestral debuts, beginning in 2011 at Tanglewood, performing the Schumann Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi. In 2014, he gave a revelatory performance of the Dvorák Piano Concerto with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center; in 2015, he made his Symphony Hall debut, performing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; in 2016, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he debuted with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. In 2017, he returned to Symphony Hall, performing Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 with the Boston Symphony under Andris Nelsons.
Highlights of the 2019-2020 season included return invitations to the Chicago Symphony, as well as to Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival with music director Louis Langrée; in addition, he opened the season for the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra with music director Andris Nelsons.
Among Helmchen’s worldwide highlights are performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Vienna Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony in Japan. Other international performances have included the BBC/London, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, NDR/Hamburg, Netherlands Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the SWR/Stuttgart, to name a few.
In addition to recital engagements at the Frick Collection/New York, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall (with cellist Marie Elisabeth Hecker), San Francisco Performances, Wigmore Hall/London and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, he has appeared at the Schubertiade, Lockenhaus and Marlboro festivals. He was artist-in-residence at Germany’s 2017 Schwetzingen SWR Festival.
Helmchen won the 2001 Clara Haskil International Piano Competition at the age of 19, and as the winner of the 2006 Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, he made his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Valery Gergiev at the Lucerne Festival. His principal teachers include Galina Iwanzowa, Arie Vardie and William Grant Naboré.