- Martin Helmchen,
- Antje Weithaas,
- Marie-Elisabeth Hecker
In October 2019 the piano trio Martin Helmchen – Marie-Elisabeth Hecker – Antje Weithaas will go on tour. These three German musicians represent deep musical understanding, but also lightness when needed and a big joy to play together. They can be heard on the first CD with music by Schubert, just released by outhere music.
Martin Helmchen, Piano
With his highly virtuosic yet unpretentious style, pianist Martin Helmchen continues to impress the international music scene including superb debuts with Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert Blomstedt, Wiener Philharmoniker and Valery Gergiev, London...
With his highly virtuosic yet unpretentious style, pianist Martin Helmchen continues to impress the international music scene including superb debuts with Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert Blomstedt, Wiener Philharmoniker and Valery Gergiev, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons. In the USA, he has made his concerto debuts with New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall and at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, on both occasions under the baton of Christoph von Dohnányi.
Martin Helmchen’s quest for exploring all facets of music-making is born in his passion for collaboration, not only with orchestras, but also through chamber music - largely ignited in early collaborations with the late cellist Boris Pergamenschikow. Since 2010, Martin Helmchen has been an Associate Professor of chamber music at the Kronberg Academy.
In 2017/18 season Martin Helmchen is soloist with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Vedernikov, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden with Herbert Blomstedt, Wiener Symphoniker with Tomáš Netopil, Orchestre National de Belgique with Hugh Wolff and Warsaw Philharmonic with Olari Elts as well as with San Diego Symphony and Jahja Ling.
Martin Helmchen joins his wife, cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, in duo and in various ensemble collaborations. They join violinist Augustin Hadelich to perform at the 2017 Aspen Festival, Carolin Widmann on a chamber music tour to South America. Furthermore, Martin Helmchen regularely performs with Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas, Sabine Meyer and from 2018 onwards with Frank Peter Zimmermann. He gives solo recitals in Chicago, Montreal and major European cities including London’s International Piano Series, Amsterdam, Stuttgart and Bonn. Continuing his love of the Lied recital he collaborates further with Juliane Banse and Julian Prégardien, the latter in London’s Wigmore Hall.
2017 saw two recording releases: for Accentus music, live from performance, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queryas with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig conducted by Herbert Blomstedt and for outhere music a release of both Brahms cello sonatas with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker. For PentaTone, Helmchen has previously recorded Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Dvořák concertos as well as solo recordings and Schubert duos with Julia Fischer.
An early impact on Helmchen’s career was winning the “2001 Clara Haskil Competition”. He was a Fellow of the “Borletti-Buitoni-Trust in 2005” and the “Credit Suisse Young Artist” in 2006, culminating with his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Valery Gergiev at the Lucerne Festival. Between 2005 and 2007, Martin Helmchen was a soloist on the “BBC New Generation Artists” scheme. A former student of Galina Iwanzowa in Berlin, Martin Helmchen continued his studies with Arie Vardie at the Hochschule für Musik Hannover. Other mentors are Alfred Brendel and William Grant Naboré.
Antje Weithaas, Violin
Brimful of energy, Antje Weithaas’ brings her compelling musical intelligence and technical mastery to every detail of the music. Her charisma and stage presence are captivating, but never overshadow the works themselves. She has a wide-ranging repertoire that...
Brimful of energy, Antje Weithaas’ brings her compelling musical intelligence and technical mastery to every detail of the music. Her charisma and stage presence are captivating, but never overshadow the works themselves. She has a wide-ranging repertoire that includes the great concertos by Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann, new works such as Jörg Widmann’s Violin Concerto, modern classics by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Ligeti and Gubaidulina, and lesser performed concertos by Hartmann and Schoeck.
As a soloist, Antje Weithaas has worked with most of Germany’s leading orchestras, including the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bamberg Symphony and the major German radio orchestras,
numerous major international orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC Symphony, as well as and the leading orchestras of
the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Asia. She has collaborated with the illustrious conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Dmitri Kitayenko, Sir Neville Marriner, Marc Albrecht, Yakov Kreizberg, Sakari Oramo and Carlos Kalmar. She enjoys a close working relationship with conductor Antonello Manacorda, with whom she made her debuts with the Orchestra Filharmonica del Teatro La Fenice in Venice as well as the SWR Symphony Orchestra and regularly gives concerts in her hometown Potsdam.
Highlights of the 2017/18 season include performances with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg under Riccardo Minasi (Mozart 5), with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski (Berg Chamber Concerto with Lars Vogt), with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniel Raiskin (Brahms) and Concerto Budapest under András Keller (Beethoven) as well as her debut with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and a tour with Le Concert Olympique under Jan Caeyers (Beethoven Triple with Maximilian Hornung and Till Fellner) with guest concerts at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Philharmonie Berlin and De Singel Antwerpen amongst others. With her infectious zest for communication, Antje Weithaas‘ reputation for inspiring play-lead concerts is rapidly growing. Having been the Camerata Bern’s artistic director since the 2009/10 season, she is responsible for the
ensemble’s musical profile, leading large works such as Beethoven’s symphonies, and recording music by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Beethoven. She also enjoys ongoing collaborations with the Swedish Chamber Orchester and the Kammersymphonie Leipzig.
The Arcanto Quartet, in which she performed with fellow violinist Daniel Sepec, violist Tabea Zimmermann and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, has been particularly important to Antje Weithaas as a chamber musician. In recent years, they have performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Théâtre du Châtelet and Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Philharmonie in Berlin and the Konzerthaus Vienna, and have toured Israel, Japan and North America. They have released CDs on the label Harmonia Mundi of works by Bartók, Brahms, Ravel, Dutilleux, Debussy, Schubert and Mozart.
Antje Weithaas produced a reference recording of Beethoven and Berg’s violin concertos in 2013 with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra under Steven Sloane (CAvi-music). There were rave reviews of the two first CDs from Antje Weithaas’ latest project for CAvi: complete recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas and Eugène Ysaÿe’s solo sonatas. The label cpo recently released Vol. 2 and 3 of her recordings of Max Bruch’s complete works for violin and orchestra with the NDR Radio Philharmonic under Hermann Bäumer to great acclaim. Antje Weithaas continues her collaboration with the NDR Radio Philharmonic and cpo with recordings of Schumann’s Violin
Concerto and Brahms’ Double Concerto with Maximilian Hornung, both conducted by Andrew Manze.
Antje Weithaas began playing the violin at the age of four and later studied at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin with Professor Werner Scholz. She won the Kreisler Competition in Graz in 1987 and the Bach Competition in Leipzig in 1988, as well as the Hanover International Violin Competition in 1991. After teaching at the Universität der Künste Berlin, Antje Weithaas became a professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in 2004. She plays on a 2001 Peter Greiner violin.
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Cello
“Hecker plays like an angel ... the beauty of her sound is enhanced by an exquisitely elegant line and sweeping lyricism. There is absolutely no artifice to mislead the audience; her performance comprises musicality and pure talent.” (El Pais) Cellist...
“Hecker plays like an angel ... the beauty of her sound is enhanced by an exquisitely elegant line and sweeping lyricism. There is absolutely no artifice to mislead the audience; her performance comprises musicality and pure talent.” (El Pais)
Cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker made her international breakthrough with her sensational success at the 8th Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 2005, where she became the first contestant in the event’s history to win the first prize as well as two special prizes. Since then Hecker has become one of the most sought-after soloists and chamber musicians of her generation, recognised for her deep expression and natural affinity for the cello, with Die Zeit describing her playing as “heartbreakingly sad and instinctively beautiful”.
Born in 1987 in Robert Schumann’s hometown Zwickau, Hecker began learning the cello at the age of five, with the distinguished German cellist Peter Bruns becoming her principal teacher. She continued her studies with Heinrich Schiff and subsequently took part in masterclasses with eminent figures such as Anner Bylsma, Frans Helmerson, Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman and Steven Isserlis. Early recognition came when she won Germany’s important Jugend musiziert competition, followed by the special prize at the 2001 Dotzauer Competition and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2009. She is supported by the Kronberg Academy.
Among the highlights of her career to date are performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Spanish National Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin and Vienna Symphony Orchestra. She had collaborated with conductors such as Marc Albrecht, Barenboim, Gergiev, Gullberg Jensen, Harding, Hengelbrock, Herreweghe, Krivine, Luisi, Nagano, Rhorer, Saraste, Thielemann, von Dohnányi and Zacharias. In addition, she has appeared in recitals in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Florence, Frankfurt (Alte Oper), Hohenems (Schubertiade), Jerusalem, London (Wigmore Hall), Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York (Carnegie Hall), Paris, Vancouver, Zurich and at Verbier and Lucerne Festival.
Highlights of this season are debuts with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic Lódz, and the Royal North Sinfonia. She gives recitals with Martin Helmchen in Berlin and Birmingham and at the Bad Kissingen, Schubertiade and Rügen Festivals. In chamber music she appears with Mitsuko Uchida and Veronika Eberle at the Mozartwoche Salzburg, with Carolin Widmann at the Alte Oper Frankfurt and at the Kaposvar, Marlboro, Rügen and Schubertiade Festivals. In co-operation with Music Road Rwanda Marie-Elisabeth Hecker regularly travels to Rwanda in order to support a local music school with concerts and educational projects.
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker plays on a Luigi Bajoni cello of 1864.
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker is represented worldwide by the agency Ekkehard Jung Artists & Projects.