Kim Helweg


The first printed work by Kim Helweg, The Whiteness and the Stillness from 1975, clearly shows which composers influenced his formative years - Penderecki and John Cage, combined with inspiration from literary "attitudinal relativism". But a watershed encounter with American fusion music two years later drastically changed his course and led to an extensive period of jazz/rock compositions - with a point of departure in Miles Davis' experiments and their further elaboration by Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul and others - culminating in a couple of rock symphonies and the rock operas Odysseus and Black Mass (1977-1983). In 1985 and 1988 he won first prizes for compositions for the Danish Radio Concert Orchestra with a rhythm group, and in 1986 his music drama The Kreutzer Sonata was awarded a prize by the EBU in Monaco.

In 1988, however, he had come full circle and again wrote mainly for classical ensembles, and his works since that time include a Violin Concerto (commissioned by Danmarks Radio), a Cello Concerto (performed by Morten Zeuthen and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Frans Rasmussen); Barocco Brasileiro - a concerto for percussion and orchestra written for the Safri Duo (first performed by the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Christie) and Dvojnik, a concerto for two pianos and orchestra written for the Thorson and Thurber Piano Duo; the chamber concertos (commissioned by Musik i Väst, Sweden, where he was selected for a one-year composing engagement from 30 Scandinavian composers who applied), Shlag for punk singer and orchestra (commissioned by Staatstheater Stuttgart in 1992) and Requiem Piazza Duomo and the ballet Cupid and Psyche (for the Royal Danish Ballet and Orchestra), written in connection with Copenhagen Capital of Culture 1996.

Most recently the ballets The Return of Don Juan (London 1999) and Spiri (choreographed by Jens Bjerregaard) and the music for Howard Barker's Wounds to the Face (Copenhagen 1999) have been performed, to which can be added a major presentation at contemporary music festivals in Canada (1999-2000).