Skip to main content

News

Art Prize 2022

Thank you Dresden for honoring me with the prestigious Art Prize 2022 by the City of Dresden. I feel deep gratitude for the acknowledgment of my work and for having an artistic home at this wonderful place at the river Elbe.

Since 1993, the City of Dresden has awarded an annual art prize and up to two promotional prizes to promising young artists, ensembles and cultural workers. In each case, outstanding and nationally significant artistic work or cultural commitment is honoured.

Skills

My new album Skills is out today on Berlin label Modern Recordings.

In my parents' living room stands an elaborately hand-forged copper kettle – my grandfather's masterpiece, hammered out of a single piece of copper. Growing up in a family of craftsmen, I have been familiar since early childhood with the attitude of perfecting a thing for its own sake.

The deepening concentration and slow maturing of execution, the craft shares with spiritual rituals, with arts, sports and the sciences. I am touched by the sight of almost ideal expressions of human activity, be it a forged piece, a perfectly build sentence or an athletic performance. I dedicate my album SKILLS to this fascination.

The album is available on Vinyl, CD and on all streaming platforms.

Cover artwork: myself
String quartet: mondena quartet
French horns: Anne Grethen, Jörg Brückner, Robinson Wappler
Tuba: Tom Götze

Metamorphosis

The 4th single of my upcoming album Skills is out today. The music video shows a Reishi mushroom that is ‘eating’ a violin in time lapse – transforming it into a tea. The video deals with the constant transforming process. Even high culture can lose relevance and society’s interest and become just a soil for something very different.

A violin is the icon of a highly developed, sophisticated classical tradition.

The Reishi mushroom is a less developed organism, but it is providing countless health benefits, when eaten or drunk. The video is contemplating about the change of values, the need for renewal and regeneration and about hubris, that always comes before the fall.

Director: Daniel Farkas
Cover artwork: Dominik Schech

New Single – Lore

Lore is the third single of my upcoming album Skills. It is about the influence of traditions on creative processes. As a continuum we ourselves have lost this in Germany. We subconsciously feel tradition and rub against it – we flee, long, renew, deny, nurture, destroy, transfigure it, but we will not be able to overcome its continuous background noise. As a surreal vanitas daydream, I have portrayed this silent presence of tradition in my music video Lore, inspired by Armenian director Parajanov’s movie The Color of Pomegranates.

Parajanov’s non-narrative fusion of hypnotic pictures mirrors the continuous impact of tradition in his cultural world. Saxon tradition and arts and crafts shaped my childhood. In my memories, my artistic thinking and my everyday life, they are fleetingly but continuously present ...

Read more

New Single – Repetition

Repetition is the second single of Sven's upcoming album Skills. It features Chicago avantgarde sound artist Surachai. The visuals for Repetition are crafted by Polish video artist Ksawery Komputery. He created a machine learning algorithm, which is learning to draw a rose. The rose is the key visual element of Sven's new concept album.

Musicians on Repetition:

mondena quartet (strings)
Jörg Brückner (French Horn)
Robinson Wappler (French Horn)
Anne Grethen (French Horn)
Tom Götze (Tuba)

Watch music video
Listen
Read an Interview with Sven
Ksawery Komputery

New single – Vision

Sven's first single Vision of his upcoming album Skills is out today via Berlin label Modern Recordings. The cover is handmade by the master engraver Matthias Köhler from Dresden. The album celebrates human crafts and innovation. The new music is composed for String quartet, French horns, Vibraphone and Electronics.

It features:

mondena quartet (strings)
Jörg Brückner (French Horn)
Robinson Wappler (French Horn)
Anne Grethen (French Horn)
Tom Götze (Tuba)

Listen to Vision
Watch music video

Recording finished

We finished the recording of 10 new pieces for the upcoming album Skills.
The new pieces are written for 3 French horns, Tuba and String quartet.
I had the pleasure to work again with Mondeana Quartet from Leipzig.
Among the wonderful brass players was Jörg Brückner, who is one of the best French horn players, I have ever heard.
I am now collecting ideas for the visual work, that will accompany the single releases and the live concerts. The Icelandic visual artis Mani M. Sigfusson will join the team once again, after our collaboration on I Eat the Sun and Drink the Rain.
Thanks to a succesful Kickstarter campaign, I was able to make the most out of this Corona standstill. Thank you very much to all supporters! The releases of singles from the album will start end of September this year. The album has to wait until February 2022.

crowdfunding for new album

I just started a Crowdfunding campaign for my new album.
It will be called SKILLS. I would like to kindly ask you to become part of this new journey. This is, what SKILLS it is about:
I have always been fascinated, by human's ability to refine and master crafts –
sometimes to adapt to a changing world, sometimes to create art, sometimes just for its own sake. I dedicate SKILLS to this fascination.
Up until now we have been able to share our art thanks to the support of everyone, who has bought tickets to our concerts and listened to our music.
This musician-audience relationship has been an incredibly productive one throughout the past years, but this last year has highlighted that it is also a fragile one.
This is why we put SKILLS on the crowdfunding platform ‘Kickstarter’.
Please have a look and learn more about the idea behind it.
With your crucial help and involvement, we can realise it together, and I look forward very much to sharing it with you when it is complete.

Kickstarter
 

 

Haingeraide Charity Compilation

To support those, who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, the artists of the German booking agency Von der Haardt came together to deliver a compilation album with all proceeds being donated to Médecins Sans Frontières, an independent humanitarian non-profit organization that provides medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare.
Being part of the Von der Haardt artist family, Sven delivers the piece "Blurred". It is a rework for string quartet of the original track by Icelandic duo Kiasmos.
The title name “Haingeraide” derives from the Middle Ages, when German farmers established “Haingeraide” as a form of forest and land management cooperative. With unity and collaboration at its core, there couldn’t be a better title for a project like this.

"Blurred" on YouTube

"Blurred" on Spotify

Cello Concerto Release

Today is the album release of the Cello Concerto Three Continents with soloist Jan Vogler and the WDR Symphony Orchestra under Cristian Macelaru. Composers Nico Muhly (USA), Zhou Long (China) and Sven Helbig each wrote one movement for the concerto that has been commissioned by Jan Vogler and the Dresden Music Festival. Sven composed the second movement Aria for the work.
“The music on this album deals with the role of artists within our society. Three Continents is a comment on the freedom of music as a global language that is yet passionately influenced by regional and cultural conditions. It is symbolic for everything that characterizes our globalized community.” says Jan Vogler.

SF Classical Voice – Review
The Classic Review

Jan Vogler
Klassik begeistert – Review

Piano Album Release

Pianist Clemens Christian Poetzsch released a new album with 12 of Sven's compositions for solo piano. The musical fellows started off playing music together in Dresden.
Being label mates at Berlin based brand Neue Meister, Clemens and Sven collaborated on this work, celebrating their common musical taste and their love for piano music.

Neue Meister
Listen on Spotify

Residency at Banff

Sven is honored to be a faculty member at Canada's Banff Center for Arts and Creativity. Along Sven's master classes during the Choral Art program, the center will stage his work I Eat the Sun and Drink the Rain, calling it one of the most remarkable choir works of the 21st century.
Founded in 1933, the Banff Centre continues its worldwide unique role as a catalyst for knowledge and creativity through the power of its unique environment and facilities in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The Banff Centre aspires to be the global leader in the development and promotion of creative work in the arts, sciences, business, culture and the environment.

Banff Center
Program

Bolshoi Opera

The ongoing tour of I Eat the Sun and Drink the Rain will reach Belarus this October. The choir work will be staged at renowned Bolshoi Opera in Minsk.
In November, Sven will go on tour in Germany with the famous choir of the opera house, conducted by Wilhelm Keitel. Beside concerts in Berlin, Potsdam and Stuttgart, the project will also stop at Sven's hometown Eisenhüttenstadt.

Manchester Camerata

Sven is performing with acclaimed Manchester Camerata again on October 9th.
This time at impressive 600 years old Manchester Cathedral.
Together with the chamber orchestra, he will interrogate the ghosts of history with electronic improvisations inspired by Mozart's Gran Partita and determine the impact of his legacy in 2019.

Tickets and more info

Nomination

Sven is nominated for the prestigious price in 6 categories for his work Tres Momentos:
- Composer of the year
- Best recording of 20/21st century's music
- Best premier recording
- Best concert recording
- Best instrumentalist Electronica
- Classic without borders

Opus Klassik

Premiere

For its 2019 festival commission the Dresden Music Festival had the intriguing idea of commissioning a concerto from not one but three composers, spanning three different continents: Nico Muhly (USA), Zhou Long (China) and Sven.
The premiere perfomance today, with Jan Vogler on solo cello has been enthusiastically recieved.
Jan Vogler made a terrific champion for the piece, acting as the focus for the entire work. Robert Hugill

Review Planet Hugill
Freihe Presse (German)

Golden Stage Cross

Sven has been awarded with the Golden Stage Cross of Lithuania.
The prestigious award by the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania is honoring exceptional contributions to the Lithuanian theater and is the highest cultural decoration of the country.
Sven composed the music for the contemporary dance piece My Peter Pan, produced by Seiko Dance Company, choreographed and directed by its founder Agnija Seiko.