Helen Grime

b. 1981



The music of Helen Grime has been performed by leading orchestras around the world, among them the London Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductors who have championed her music include Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Pierre Boulez, Kent Nagano, Oliver Knussen, George Benjamin, Daniel Harding, Marin Alsop and Thomas Dausgaard. Her music frequently draws inspiration from related artforms such as painting (Two Eardley Pictures, Three Whistler Miniatures), sculpture (Woven Space) and literature (A Cold Spring, Near Midnight, Limina) and has won praise in equal measure for the craftsmanship of its construction and the urgency of its telling.

Born in 1981, Grime attended St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh and, following studies at the Royal College of Music in London, was awarded a Leonard Bernstein Fellowship to attend Tanglewood Music Center in 2008. Between 2011 and 2015 she was Associate Composer to the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester and in 2016 was appointed Composer in Residence at Wigmore Hall in London. She was Lecturer in Composition at Royal Holloway, University of London, between 2010 and 2017 and is currently Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She was appointed MBE in the 2020 New Year Honours List for services to music.

Composer website: helengrime.com

Podcast: Composing Myself - Wise Music Group’s CEO Dave Holley and Creative Director Gill Graham chat to Helen Grime.

Critical Acclaim
[Grime] has as precise an ear as any contemporary composer I can think of...
- Paul Driver, The Sunday Times

...her palette is all her own, weaving evocative, restless motives with cool insistence. She writes as though her music needs to be told...
- Kate Molleson, The Guardian

...Grime is a confident and persuasive colourist, generous but not profligate in her instrumentation, witty too. Small details made a big impact; the belated addition of a tuba to the bottom of the chord, baroque flurries of acciaccaturas and giddy trumpets...
- Anna Picard, The Times


Born in 1981, Helen Grime studied at the Royal College of Music with Julian Anderson and Edwin Roxburgh (composition) and John Anderson (oboe).  She came to public attention in 2003, when her Oboe Concerto won a British Composer Award.  In 2008 she was awarded a Leonard Bernstein Fellowship to attend 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.

Grime has had works commissioned by ensembles and institutions including the London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre, Aldeburgh Music, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Tanglewood Music Center. Conductors who have performed her work include Sir Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Harding, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Oliver Knussen and Sir Mark Elder.

Between 2011 and 2015 Grime 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 was nominated in the Contemporary category of the 2015 Gramophone Awards. In 2016 her Two Eardley Pictures were premiered at the BBC Proms and in Glasgow, winning the prize for large-scale composition in the Scottish Awards for New Music and a nomination in the British Composer Awards the following year.

In 2016 Grime was appointed as Composer in Residence at the Wigmore Hall. Highlights of this period include a day of concerts devoted to her music, as well as the premieres of a Piano Concerto for Huw Watkins and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group conducted by Oliver Knussen, and a song cycle, Bright Travellers, for soprano Ruby Hughes and Joseph Middleton.

Recent works include Woven Space (2017), which was commissioned by the Barbican for Sir Simon Rattle’s inaugural season as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, a Percussion Concerto for Colin Currie, which received its premiere performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop in January 2019, Limina a co-commission for Tanglewood Music Center and Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Meditations on Joy for the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the BBC.

Between 2010 and 2017 Grime was Lecturer in Composition at Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2017 she was appointed Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

www.helengrime.com | www.wisemusicclassical.com



19th April 2024

Paige Roberts Molloy, piano; Mary Lynch VanderKolk, clarinet
Benaroya Hall, Seattle, United States of America

24th April 2024

Nicky Spence, tenor
Kings Place, London, United Kingdom

2nd May 2024

Iestyn Davies countertenor; Joseph Middleton piano
The Auditorium, Pembroke College, Cambridge, United Kingdom

5th May 2024

Students of Royal College of Music
Wigmore Hall, London, United Kingdom

9th May 2024

Håkan Hardenberger, Trumpet
Nodoka Okisawa
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


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