Martin Helmchen
Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve
Listen Now
  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, Op. 58, I
  • Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A
  • Mozart: Sonata No. 12, K332, I
  • Messiaen: Vingt regards sur l'enfant Jésus / Regard de l'étoile
  • Messiaen: Vingt regards sur l'enfant Jésus / Regard de l'esprit de joie
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“The conception was perfectly tailored to the lucid heat of the rising pianist Martin Helmchen, making an impressive Philharmonic debut with these performances … While Dvorák’s concerto is notorious for the discomfort it induces in its soloists, he never seemed to break a sweat, unleashing chromatic runs and laying down octaves with a style that was technically assured but also sly and nuanced …”


New York Philharmonic






With his highly virtuosic yet unpretentious style, Martin Helmchen has become one of the great pianists of his generation.  Born in 1982, he has already performed with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Vienna Philharmonic, 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.  He made an equally impressive debut last season with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center with his illuminating performance of the Dvorák Piano Concerto.  Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center.


Martin Helmchen has also appeared with the symphonies of Boston, Dallas, Grand Rapids, Houston, Portland (Oregon), Saint Louis, and San Francisco, as well as with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom.  In May 2014, he made a highly acclaimed Washington, D.C. recital debut at Kennedy Center.


Among Mr. Helmchen’s international engagements are the City of Birmingham Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gürzenich-Orchester/Cologne, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Philharmonia Orchestra/London, Prague Symphony, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Svetlanov Symphony/Moscow, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.  Artist-in-Residence with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra during the 2011/2012 season, he 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, 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, Manfred Honeck, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Philippe Herreweghe, Pablo Heras-Casado, Marek Janowski, Michail Jurowski, Vladimir Jurowski, Bernhard Klee, Jiri Kout, Sir Neville Marriner, the late Kurt Masur, Andris Nelsons, Sir Roger Norrington, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Christoph Poppen, Markus Poschner, Michael Sanderling, Heinrich Schiff, Marcus Stenz, Krzysztof Urbanski, Maximiano Valdés, Gilbert Varga, and David Zinman, among others.


Also an enthusiastic recitalist, Mr. Helmchen has performed at prestigious venues around the world, such as The Frick Collection/New York, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall (with cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker), the Coast Recital Society, San Francisco Performances, ArtSpring, the Wigmore Hall/London, and the Alte Oper in Frankfort.  He also appears regularly at major German festivals, we well as the Schubertiade, Lockenhaus, and Marlboro.


An active recording artist, Martin Helmchen’s debut disc of Mozart concertos with the Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic was released in September 2007 through his exclusive contract with PentaTone.  A second Mozart concerto disc with the same orchestra was released in 2013.  His first solo CD, a recording of works by Schubert, 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 invited to return to Elena Bashkirova’s International Chamber Music Festival in Jerusalem.


Martin Helmchen studied at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin with Galina Iwanzowa, at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover with Arie Vardie, and 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 to 2007.



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