Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Martin Helmchen
BBT Fellowship 2004

Martin Helmchen - Biography

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

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.

Photographs by Marco Borggreve