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„Muzika yacu, Ubuzima bwacu“

[proverb from Rwanda]

Martin Helmchen

“Nothing disconcerts the glorious, unshowy Martin Helmchen — the kind of performerwho lifts his audiences up to heaven just by penetrating inside his music with nimblefingers, questing intelligence and a beating heart.”

The Times

Martin Helmchen has established himself as one of the prominent exceptional pianists of the younger generation. He performs with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic as well as Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Wiener Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Orchestre de Paris. In Scandinavia he appears with Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

He enjoys collaborations with conductors such as David Afkham, Marc Albrecht, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Edward Gardner, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Manfred Honeck, Jakub Hrůša, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Klaus Mäkelä, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Michael Sanderling, John Storgårds and David Zinman.

Highlights of this season include his return to the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Andris Nelsons, where he opens the season, followed by a guest performance with the orchestra at the Lucerne Festival. He also returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Luzern Sinfonieorchester and Chicago Symphony Orchestra and will make his debut with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.

Helmchen further continues his collaborations with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, hrSinfonieorchester and Bielefelder Symphoniker, with whom he will perform all Bartók piano concertos throughout the upcoming two seasons. Helmchen starts the new season with a Beethoven programme, which he and violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann will tour to renowned summer festivals in Germany. Following this, Helmchen will perform at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, and later this year, a series of recitals with cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and violinist Antje Weithaas.

His quest for exploring all facets of music-making is born from his passion for chamber music, which regularly takes him to London’s Wigmore Hall and the Schubertiade. Helmchen‘s chamber music partners have included Veronika Eberle, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas and Carolin Widmann. An accomplished Liedaccompanist, Martin Helmchen has worked together with Juliane Banse, Matthias Goerne and Julian Pregardien.

Martin Helmchen is an exclusive artist of Alpha Classics. In 2019 he released Messiaen’s “Vingt regards sur l’enfantJésus“. Further recordings include Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, chamber music by Schubert with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and Antje Weithaas as well as a Brahms’ duo CD with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker. He previously recorded several discs with PentaTone Classics, including piano concertos by Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn as well as chamber music by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms.

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. His other mentors include William Grant Naboré and Alfred Brendel. A former BBC New Generations Artist, he won the “Concours Clara Haskil” in 2001, and in 2006 he was awarded the “Credit Suisse Young Artist Award”. Since 2010, Martin Helmchen has been an Associate Professor of chamber music at the Kronberg Academy.



In Rwanda, there has been no classical chamber music concert culture until now. Through the Goethe-Institut in Kigali, we have performed two public concerts during past visits, which were enthusiastically received. One was held at the Serena Hotel and the other at the Theater Hall of the Goethe-Institut. Further concerts are also planned for the upcoming future.

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