Martin Helmchen has established himself as one of today’s most in-demand and sought-after pianists, characterised by the originality and intensity of his interpretations, alongside his excellent tonal sensitivity and technical abilities. In 2020 he was awarded the prestigious Gramophone Music Award for his recording Ludwig van Beethoven’s complete piano concertos with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Andrew Manze, released by Alpha Classics. In the 2021/22 season Martin Helmchen is Artist-in-Residence with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo.
From early on in his career Helmchen has performed with the world’s most renowned orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and New York Philharmonic as well as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Wiener Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich and Orchestre de Paris. In Scandinavia he appears regularly with the Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Danish National Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys collaborations with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Manfred Honeck, Bernhard Haitink, Jakub Hrůša, Valery Gergiev, Klaus Mäkelä, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Andris Nelsons, Andrew Manze, Kazuki Yamada, Christoph von Dohnányi, Sakari Oramo, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Michael Sanderling and David Zinman.
Chamber music has a special significance for Helmchen – a passion for which Boris Pergamenschikow provided the essential impetus. Close chamber music partners include his wife Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Julian Prégardien, Antje Weithaas and Carolin Widmann.
Highlights of the 2021/22 season include concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Dresden Festival Orchestra. He will give recitals at the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Philharmonie Essen, the Théâtre des ChampsÉlysées, the Musikverein Bamberg, the BASF Gesellschaftshaus, the Schwetzingen Festival and Monte-Carlo. With his wife Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Martin Helmchen has commissioned a double concerto for violoncello and piano written by York Höller which they will premiere at the Ruhr Piano Festival in June 2022. Flanked by a complete recording of all sonatas for piano and violin on BIS Records, released in 2021, he will continue the great Beethoven cycle together with Frank Peter Zimmermann this season with concerts in Munich, London, Amsterdam and Prague. Duo concerts with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker are planned in Lucerne, at the Dresden Music Festival and in Genoa.
Martin Helmchen is an exclusive artist with Alpha Classics. His recording of Carl Maria von Weber’s Concert Piece with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin under Christoph Eschenbach was released in May 2021. His past releases have included Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus, and two albums with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker of Schubert and Brahms works.
Born in Berlin in 1982 and a former student of Galina Iwanzowa, Helmchen continued his studies with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. Other mentors include William Grant Naboré and Alfred Brendel. His career gained incredible momentum when he won the “Concours Clara Haskil” in 2001. Since 2010, Martin Helmchen has been an Associate Professor of chamber music at the Kronberg Academy.