Martin Helmchen is one of the most sought-after pianists and has performed on the world’s most important stages for decades. In particular, the originality and intensity of his interpretations, which he presents with impressive sound sensitivity and technical sophistication, characterize him as a musician. In 2020 he received the prestigious Gramophone Music Award for his recording of the complete Ludwig van Beethoven piano concertos with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin conducted by Andrew Manze, released on Alpha Classics.
As a soloist, Martin Helmchen has performed with numerous renowned orchestras, including the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouworkest, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Orchester de Paris, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra London, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra. He works regularly with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Manfred Honeck, Andrew Manze, Kazuki Yamada, Vladimir Jurowski, Andris Nelsons, Christoph von Dohnányi, Jakub Hrůša, Klaus Mäkelä, Paavo Järvi, Sakari Oramo, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Michael Sanderling and David Zinman .
Chamber music is of particular importance to him – a passion for which Boris Pergamenshikov provided the essential impetus. His close chamber music partners include his wife Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Julian Prégardien, Augustin Hadelich, Antje Weithaas and Carolin Widmann.
Highlights of the 2022/2023 season are concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orchester Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, with Martin Helmchen will present three different projects. Recitals have taken him to the Boston Celebrities Series, the Dortmund Concert Hall, the Toppan Hall in Tokyo, the Thomaskirche in Leipzig and the Thuringian Bach Festival. Martin Helmchen and his wife Marie-Elisabeth Hecker commissioned a double concerto for cello and piano from York Höller, which they premiered in June 2022 at the Ruhr Piano Festival and as part of the opening of the Casals-Forum with the Kremerata Baltica and the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin will repeat at the Ultrasonic Festival in the 2022/23 season. Concerts with Frank Peter Zimmermann are planned at the Rheingau Music Festival, in London, Luxembourg, Bern and Monaco.
Martin Helmchen is an exclusive artist at Alpha Classics. Most recently, in March 2022, the highly acclaimed album “Noveltten und Gesänge der Frühe” with piano works by Robert Schumann was released. In May 2021 his recording of the concert piece by Carl Maria von Weber with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin under Christoph Eschenbach was released. His past publications included i.a. Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, Messiaen’s “Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus”, as well as a duo album with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker with Schumann and Brahms works.
Born in Berlin in 1982, he first studied with Galina Iwanzowa at the HfM “Hanns Eisler” Berlin, later switched to Arie Vardi at the HMTM Hanover; further mentors are William Grant Naboré and Alfred Brendel. His career received a first decisive impulse when he won the “Concours Clara Haskil” in 2001.
Since 2010, Martin Helmchen is an Associate Professor of Chamber Music at Kronberg Academy.