Sven Helbig, composer

Who or what inspired you to take up composing, and pursue a career in music?

It just happened, because I listened and loved orchestral music all my life.

Who or what were the most significant influences on your musical life and career as a composer?

I can´t name influences. I love a lot of composers in many musical styles, but at the end this is not important. A walk in the forest speaks it out clearly: what do you love? Go for it!

What have been the greatest challenges/frustrations of your career so far?

Dealing with limited time is always a problem. This is the daily frustration.

What are the special challenges/pleasures of working on a commissioned piece?

The biggest challenge is working without commission. I am happy to put out orchestral and choral music without anybody asking for it.

What are the special challenges/pleasures of working with particular musicians, singers, ensembles and orchestras?

It is wonderful to see how musical ideas transform through other musicians’ minds.

Of which works are you most proud?

I am never proud.

How would you characterise your compositional language?

I try to stay close to traditional harmonic music and time signatures.

How do you work?

Paper and pencil.

Who are your favourite musicians/composers?

In the classical world I like Richard Strauss. But there is so much more music beside classical music. I adore Aron Funk.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

When my daughter was in the audience for the first time.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Make music for your people. This is the must human concept.

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

On a planet earth that still has some air, water and life.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A complete day with my family

Sven Helbig’s concept album I Eat The Sun And Drink The Rain is available now on Berlin label Neue Meister (Berlin Classics / Edel). Conducted by Kristjan Järvi and performed by Baroque-specialist choir Vocalconsort Berlin, this album explores the boundaries of classical music with experimental art and electronica. The 10-piece project introduces bewitching, delicate choral voices, perfectly balanced with subtly pulsating synthesizers and electronica soundscapes. Contemplating today’s omni-presence of the digital, Helbig has worked on themes that question current challenges and debates, such as the role of artificial intelligence and place of nature in our lives.

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