Sven Helbig

Sven Helbig was born in Eisenhuettenstadt, Eastern Germany. He discovered classical music by chance as he was flipping through the few channels on his self-built radio. What started out as a fascination for semiconductor circuits swiftly turned into the centre of his life: the MW-receiver as a window on the world. Night after night he would lie awake and listen to Brahms and Mahler. Hearing Puccini’s Tosca, Helbig took up the clarinet; after Stan Lathan’s Beat Street, the first film about hip-hop, followed the drums. The work of Stanley Kubrick ignited his passion for film, while the scores of Richard Strauss and Wagner inspired his desire to compose his own music. It all seemed connected, which drove his wish to combine his various interests and abilities.

After his music studies in Dresden, Sven Helbig moved to New York, spent nights playing drums in Greenwich Village clubs and took a day-job manufacturing cowbells in the Bronx. However, the chance to become a lecturer at the Dresden University Carl-Maria von Weber, plus the opportunity to found and head the Dresden Symphony Orchestra with some friends led him back to Germany.
In the following years Sven Helbig developed his work from the song cycle “Mein Herz Brennt”, the contemporary soundtrack to “Battleship Potemkin” or the ballet “The Most Incredible Thing” at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre to large-format multi-media events such as the Hochhaussinfonie to celebrate 800 years of Dresden or the choral work “Da Wird Auch Dein Herz Sein”, created for 250.000 voices at the Church Convention 2011. He continuously cooperates with artists like Rammstein, the Pet Shop Boys, Kristjan Järvi, René Pape, the Fauré Quartet and writer Sibylle Berg.

In February 2013 Sven Helbig released his debut album “Pocket Symphonies”. Originally written as concert pieces for piano quartet and orchestra and presented by legendary classical label Deutsche Grammophon the “Pocket Symphonies” lead the life of most classical compositions – untouchable and inseparable from the requirements of orchestral performance practices and acoustics. Now, the music is leaving the protective cocoon of the classical concert hall, receiving a new treatment, using mallets, electronics and beats. In his solo concerts Sven Helbig creates the “Pocket Symphonies Electronica”. With synthesizers, samplers, controllers and vibraphone he releases them into the digital world. During the concerts the compositions take off their orchestral clothing and wrap themselves in electronic sounds. They pair up with beats and change their pulse. One can hear their origins, but in resonance with foreign cultural spaces and a different musical experience they lose their classical, museal quality geared solely to observation and begin to communicate to a different, digitally socialized audience. As the composer of the classical original Sven Helbig reserves the right to drive the transformation toward club culture to an extreme. Hovering vibraphone sounds and deafening break beats, opulent strings and synthesizer surrogates are all part of his powerful musical arsenal.














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