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Borletti-Buitoni Trust

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

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



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 Orchestra

This 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 |

Martin Helmchen

Martin Helmchen

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 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 |

Martin Helmchen: BBT Winners 2004

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)


Introducing 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.


Martin 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.

Artist Website

General Management

Erdmuthe Pirlich at Konzertdirektion Schmid, Hannover
telephone: + 49 511 36607 69

Local Manager (UK, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand)

Emma-Jane Stokely at Konzertdirektion Schmid, London
telephone: +44 2073950914