As a composer and clarinettist with a distinguished performance history, music has always been a part of Helen’s life and at a young age she was already winning composition prizes at local music competitions.
Helen then focused on performance where she went on to establish a career as an international clarinettist until a twist of fate resulted in her going back to serious composition. Unable to the play the clarinet for a couple of months due to two broken wrists she was allowed to play the piano. As a result she found herself hooked and the music began to flow from her pencil!
Her first two albums, Found in the Rain (2009) and Found in the Sunlight (2014) were immediately taken up by Classic FM as Album of the Month and Album of the Week respectively. Classic FM described the album as:
‘…music that’s new to us, and which we think you will enjoy. This is calm reflective and pastoral music, which we will be featuring regularly on Smooth and Relaxing Classics’.
Both albums are played world wide and have also enjoyed much success in the States.
Helen studied the clarinet at the Royal College of Music with Sydney Fell and with Gervase de Peyer. After winning a scholarship to the IHEM in Switzerland she was appointed principal clarinet of the Gulbenkian Orchestra at the age of 22. Helen has performed as a soloist in prestigious venues in many countries in Europe, and a highlight was a concerto at the Lincoln Centre with the New York Chamber Symphony Orchestra under Gerald Schwarz. She has appeared on television (including Michael Parkinson) and radio on many occasions and has performed alongside icons such as Cliff Richard and Vanessa Redgrave.
Helen is deeply influenced and inspired by nature and this can be easily recognised in much of her music. When she was 8 years old she remembers looking out of her bedroom on to a wood and hearing her first tune which she knows to this day. This has been a regular occurrence and she feels very blessed to be the recipient of what she feels can only be described as a magical source of inspiration.
Another example was in Brittany In 2003. Whilst swimming in the sea she noticed that all around her was sea, sky and a sandy beach and that it could have been a million years ago. In that moment she heard a tune which was to become ‘A Million Years Ago.’
Helen cares deeply about ‘ our beautiful planet’ and in 2016 she was appointed ‘Composer in Residence’ for the very exciting Ice Warrior program with polar explorer and keynote speaker Jim McNeill, with an invitation to join an expedition to the North Pole!
They have recently collaborated in giving talks on the theme of music and nature which have been enthusiastically received.
Helen has now recently recorded her 3rd album, Found in the Winter, again with world class pianist and arranger John Lenehan, and with London Primavera Orchestra, conducted by Tony Halstead. They are joined by John Anderson, one of the most recorded oboists in the world.
It will be released in the next couple of months under the Divine Art record label.