Pianist Martin Helmchen makes his solo recording debut performing Schubert and conductor Marc Albrecht leads the Orchestre Philharmonique De Strasbourg in works by Richard Strauss

Naxos of America, Inc. has released two new SACDs from Dutch-based surround-sound specialists PentaTone Classics (www.pentatonemusic.com). German pianist Martin Helmchen makes his solo recording debut performing Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A, D959 and Six Moments Musicaux (PTC5186329). Additionally, conductor Marc Albrecht leads the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg in his PentaTone recording debut, featuring a program devoted to beloved tone poems by Richard Strauss, including Till Eulenspiegel, Don Juan, Träumerei am Kamen and Tod und Verklärung (PTC5186310).

Pianist Martin Helmchen was born in Berlin in 1982. He received his first piano lessons at the age of six and went on to study with Galina Iwanzowa at the Hanns Eisler Academy in Berlin. He continued his studies with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, going on to win the Clara Haskil competition in 2001. Helmchen has performed with orchestras that include the Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, RSO Stuttgart, Bamberg Symphoniker, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the chamber orchestras of Zurich, Amsterdam, Vienna, Lausanne, Cologne, and Munich. He has worked with conductors who include Marek Janowski, Philippe Herreweghe, Marc Albrecht, Vladimir Jurowski, Jiri Kout, Bernhard Klee, and Lawrence Foster. Mr. Helmchen records exclusively for PentaTone.

Marc Albrecht’s 20-year-old career has led him to the major European opera houses and the most renowned symphony orchestras. He has garnered high praise for his well-known interpretations of works by Wagner and Strauss, as well as his enviable commitment to contemporary music. Since 2006, he has further established the profile of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg as its Artistic Director and Chief Conductor; he most recently directed them on a highly successful tour of Germany in 2007.

In concert, Mr. Albrecht has conducted major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, St. Cecilia Rome, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Orchestre National de Lyon. He has led operatic productions at the Bayreuth and Salzburg festivals and has served as Principal Guest Conductor at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he led an acclaimed production of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise in 2002.

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