With all my heart I want to say thank you to everybody who is behind the BB Trust's wonderful idea and work. The value of these awards goes far beyond what "normal" scholarships offer. The concept of getting with the funds the most competent advice about its use is unique and unprecedented. It's just so valuable getting to know people who are interested in helping us young artists to launch a musical career, and only in this, without commercial imperatives. Winning the Fellowship brought me to thinking about my artistic planning in a new way, on the one hand because of the ideas I got from Susan Rivers (a three-month sabbatical is a great thing!), and simply because suddenly there are funds available which were out of reach before.Martin Helmchen"
Martin Helmchen was supported by BBT between 2004 and 2011, when this page was last updated. For an up to date biography go to www.kdschmid.de.
With his virtuosic yet unpretentious style pianist Martin Helmchen is increasingly recognised on the international music scene performing with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert Blomstedt, Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, London Philharmonic with Vladimir Jurowski, the City of Birmingham Symphony and Andris Nelsons and Orchestre de Paris and Christoph von Dohnànyi. The great recital venues of Europe also regularly appear on Martin Helmchen’s schedule including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Vienna’s Musikverein. During 2010/2011 season Martin Helmchen makes his debut with Sir Mark Elder in a return to the Hallé Orchestra and in North America he performs a recital debut at the prestigious Vancouver Recital Society and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival. On tour he is soloist with the NHK Symphony Tokyo and Sir Roger Norrington, the NDR Hannover orchestra under the baton of Andrés Orozco-Estrada and with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner on an extensive tour of Germany. Martin Helmchen maintains regular partnerships in chamber music with Heinrich Schiff, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and Julia Fischer touring throughout Europe. Recording exclusively for PentaTone, Martin Helmchen has released a disc of Mozart concerti with the Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic, Schumann and Dvorak with the Orchestre Philhamonique de Strasbourg under Marc Albrecht and most recently the Mendelssohn concerti with Royal Flanders Philharmonic and Philippe Herreweghe. His first solo recording of Schubert works won an ECHO Award in 2009 and a disc of Schubert duos with Julia Fischer has won equal high praise. Martin Helmchen received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2004.
Last updated: February 2011
Photographs by Marco Borggreve
BBT Project: Shostakovich Piano Concertos & Piano Quintet LPO CD with London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
"...a disc of exuberance and, as ever with this composer, melancholy."
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer 20 March 2011
"Martin Helmchen shows himself adept in all aspects of No 1’s quirky humour, No 2’s playful high spirits and - in the famous Andante - a nostalgic romanticism Rachmaninov might have been proud of… What makes this disc more special is a truly superb account of Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet…this is one of the most impressive performances of the work that I’ve heard in recent years."
Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine July 2011
BBT Project: Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2, LPO, Jurowski
"Helmchen gave a delightfully unaffected, affectionate, and note-perfect performance"
Classical Source, 27 April 2009
"a pianist...with all the virtues - vision as well as virtuosity and vim - stipulated by his calling, not to mention a warm presence."
Paul Driver, Sunday Times, 3 May 2009
BBT Project: Pentatone recording of Schubert's Trout Quintet, a collaboration between BBT Award Winners Martin Helmchen, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and Antoine Tamestit, with BBT Honorary Committee member Christian Tetzlaff violin, plus Alois Posch double bass
"This is a marvellous disc, one of the most enjoyable I have heard in a long time... a great line-up of soloists, who seem to know one another very well, or to have clicked miraculously, with results that, in the case of the 'Trout' Quintet, are more completely satisfactory than any account I have ever heard of this work."
BBC Music Magazine, July 2009
- Study costs
- Survival money for a sabbatical
- New photos
- Live CD recording with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1 (4th movement excerpt)
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 (2nd movement excerpt)
Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G minor (5th movement excerpt) with soloists from the London Philharmonic OrchestraThis LPO Live recording, with Vladimir Jurowski conducting, captures the emotional exuberance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concertos in concert and Helmchen’s affinity for the works which he has played his whole life. BBT’s film about the recording of this CD, including performances of both concertos, is also available here.
Martin Helmchen piano
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski conductor
with Paul Beniston trumpet
LPO – 0053 | www.lpo.org.uk
Janácek: Piano Sonata 1.X.1905 - The Presentiment
Janácek: Piano Sonata 1.X.1905 - The Death
Martin Helmchen chose to spend some of his BBT Fellowship budget on making a professional demo recording of Janácek’s intense two-movement sonata, 1.X.1905.
Martin Helmchen cello
Classical Recording Company
Schubert Trout Quintet
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A, D677 "Trout" Quintet (first movement Allegro vivace)
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A, D677 "Trout" Quintet (fourth movement - Theme (Andandtino) and Variations)
"More completely satisfactory than any account I have ever heard of this work" BBC Music Magazine, July 2009
Three BBT Award Winners - Martin Helmchen, Antoine Tamestit and Marie-Elisabeth Hecker - are joined by BBT Honorary Committee member Christian Tetzlaff.
Martin Helmchen piano
Christian Tetzlaff violin
Antoine Tamestit viola
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker cello
Alois Posch double bass
PTC 5186 334 | www.pentatonemusic.com
Martin Helmchen: BBT Winners 2004
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 2 Op 19 & Janácek: Piano Sonata 1.X.1905 (excerpts)
Jonathan Swain introduces two recordings, including one of Martin Helmchen’s winning performance at the Clara Haskil Piano Competition on 11 September 2001. This track was produced for BBT as part of an audio CD and CD-ROM, showcasing its 2004 winners. An accompanying film profile of Martin Helmchen is also on this website.
Martin Helmchen piano
Live recording, Clara Haskil Piano Competition (Beethoven)
Demo recording, Classical Recording Company (Janácek)
BBT WINNERS 2004 PROFILEIntroducing Martin Helmchen: alone in the studio, the experience of recording
BBT’s video profile of Martin Helmchen was filmed in St John’s Smith Square, London, as he was recording Janácek’s piano sonata 1.X.1905, for a BBT-supported demo CD. The film was part of an audio CD and CD-ROM produced by BBT to introduce the 2004 Award and Fellowship Winners.
GROWING UP WITH SHOSTAKOVICHMartin Helmchen, Shostakovich Piano Concertos with LPO & Vladimir Jurowski
Martin Helmchen and conductor Vladimir Jurowski discuss the thrill and immediacy of live recordings – in this case the two piano concertos of Dmitri Shostakovich. The LPO Live recording captures the emotional exuberance of the concert performances of Shostakovich’s Piano Concertos and Helmchen’s affinity for the works which he has played his whole life, although rarely in public performance. Paul Beniston is the trumpet soloist in the first concerto. The CD will be released in April 2011.
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