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Helen Grime

Born: 1981

Nationality: British

Publisher: Chester Music

Photo © Amy Barton


Born in 1981, Helen Grime studied oboe with John Anderson and composition with Julian Anderson and Edwin Roxburgh at the Royal College of Music. In 2003 she won a British Composer Award for her Oboe Concerto, and was awarded the intercollegiate Theodore Holland Composition Prize in 2003 as well as all the major composition prizes in the RCM. In 2008 she was awarded a Leonard Bernstein Fellowship to study at the Tanglewood Music Center where she studied with John Harbison, Michael Gandolfi, Shulamit Ran and Augusta Read Thomas. Grime was a Legal and General Junior Fellow at the Royal College of Music from 2007 to 2009. Since 2010 she has lectured in composition at the Department of Music at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Grime has had works commissioned by some of the most established performers including London Symphony Orchestra, BCMG, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center. Conductors who have performed her work include Daniel Harding, Pierre Boulez, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Oliver Knussen and Sir Mark Elder.

Between 2011 and 2015 she was Associate Composer to the Hallé Orchestra. This fruitful period resulted in a series of new works and a recording of her orchestral works released by NMC Recordings. This disc was awarded ‘Editors Choice’ by Gramophone Magazine on its release and went on to be nominated in the Contemporary category of the 2015 Gramophone Awards.

2015 saw performances at the BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival, as well as the premiere of her Double Concerto by the Hallé Orchestra and her string trio Aviary Sketches (after Joseph Cornell) at the Wigmore Hall, London, and Alice Tully Hall, New York. In 2016 the New World Symphony presented the US premiere of A Cold Spring in Miami, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Scotland gave the first performance of Two Eardley Pictures at the BBC Proms. Grime was Composer in Residence at the 2016 Heimbach Festival in Germany, which saw the performance of a number of her chamber works, including the premiere of Five North Eastern Scenes for oboe and piano.

In January 2016, Helen Grime was announced Wigmore Hall Composer in Residence for the 2016/17 and 17/18 seasons. Her first new work of the residency will be a piano concerto for Huw Watkins and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, to be premiered in March 2017.

Composer website: helengrime.com

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