Tine Thing Helseth (pronounced TEE-nah TING HELL-sett), 26, started to play the trumpet at the age of 7, and is one of the leading trumpet soloists of her generation.
Performing highlights of the 2012/2013 season included orchestral debuts with the Zurich Chamber, Dresden Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Munich Symphony, Prague Radio Symphony and Sioux City orchestras. Tine made her BBC Proms concerto debut at the Royal Albert Hall in the London premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Chute d’Étoiles for two trumpets and orchestra with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. With her all-female brass ensemble, tenThing, she also made her BBC Chamber Proms debut at Cadogan Hall. In addition, she returned to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Ulster orchestras for the third time, as well as enjoying re-invitations from the Stavanger Symphony and Kristiansand Symphony orchestras; and she premiered a new concerto by Britta Byström with the Nordic Chamber Orchestra. As a recitalist, Tine toured the UK, Norway, France and Finland with the renowned British pianist Kathryn Stott, culminating in her acclaimed debut at London’s Wigmore Hall.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of fellow Norwegian, Edvard Munch, Tine launched Tine@Munch in June 2013: a three day festival in Oslo’s Edvard Munch Museum, featuring performances from such instrumentalists as Leif Ove Andsnes, Nicola Benedetti and Truls Mork.
This season, Tine has given the world premiere performances of Bent Sørensen’s Trumpet Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony and Copenhagen Philharmonic orchestras. She has made debut performances with SWR Stuttgart and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and will perform further debuts with Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, and Gürzenich and Bremen Philharmonic orchestras, as well as her recital debut at Baltimore’s Shriver Hall. Tine will return to the Oslo Philharmonic and Kristiansand Symphony orchestras, as well as to the Musikkollegium Winterthur. With tenThing, she will debut at Moscow’s renowned International House of Music, and will tour such prestigious festivals as the MDR Musiksommer, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein festivals in Germany.
In recognition of her outstanding performing abilities, Tine has been the recipient of various awards including “Newcomer of the Year” at the 2013 Echo Klassik Awards, the 2009 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, “Newcomer of the Year” at the 2007 Norwegian Grammy Awards (the first classical artist ever to be nominated), and second prize in the 2006 Eurovision Young Musicians Competition.
In early 2012, Tine released her debut discs on EMI Classics: a solo disc with RLPO, Storyteller, and a collaborative album with tenThing, 10. Tine released a further CD in March 2013 – aptly titled Tine, the disc presents a personal selection of original and transcribed works, accompanied by Kathryn Stott.
NOTE: Tine will be performing at (le) Poisson Rouge on April 3rd at 7:30PM. The concert, which will be hosted by Sirius XM Classical radio, will feature music from Tine’s two Warner Classics albums Storyteller and TINE, with piano accompaniment by Bretton Brown, and is her first NYC performance since her Carnegie Hall debut in 2011.
EVEN BIGGER NOTE (!): You can attend this concert at the Poisson Rouge at a discount by entering the following code (must be entered in all caps): TINEATLPR
B-flat Trumpet: Bach 37
C Trumpet: Yamaha, Chicago model
E-flat Trumpet: Schilke
Piccolo Trumpet: Schagerl A/Bb; Yamaha custom A/Bb
Mouthpieces: Bach 1 1/4 for all trumpets except piccolo (Bach 7D)
Interview with International Trumpet Soloist Tine Thing Helseth
The interviewer is Stanley Curtis
SC: Usually, I like to start an interview with a trumpeter’s beginnings. So, how did you get your start in music? Who were some of your most important influences and teachers?
TTH: I don’t come from a classical music home – but definitely a home filled with music. I’m the first professional musician in the family, but my mum plays the trumpet as a hobby. That’s how it started, I wanted to be like her. I also played the piano when I was younger, but trumpet was my voice.
SC: What do you want to bring to the world stage as a Norwegian? Do you feel that your nationality shapes your music making?
TTH: That’s a hard question. I definitely try to take Norwegian music with me on tour, and many people talk about a special Scandinavian sound and musicality. But I feel more like me. I think the most important thing is to give your own voice and have something you want to say. The world is getting smaller and smaller, so differences become more and more individual.
SC: What impact have you made, and hope to make with your brass ensemble, TenThing—an all-female group? Do you hope to inspire other young women who play brass instruments?
TTH: The reason for us being only girls was a bit of a random gimmick in the beginning. But now of course it’s one of our trademarks. I think it’s important for both girls and boys to see this – that it doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl, you can play any instrument you like. Most importantly we have fun and want to play as well as possible. It’s all about the music anyway. It’s so much fun for us – we have four tours a year. It’s like a very intense playing holiday with nine friends!
SC: How do you maintain your technique with such a busy schedule?
TTH: I practise wherever I am. Hotel rooms, airport lounges… Ha! Sorry to all my neighbors…
SC: Do you enjoy the touring life?
TTH: I do! I am so lucky to be able to see the world and get to play for and with so many amazing and inspiring people. Of course it’s a bit stressful and tiring at times, but what isn’t!
SC: You have a very vibrant image as a musician. Do you work at cultivating this image?
TTH: I just try to be myself.
SC: How would you describe your ideal trumpet sound?
TTH: For every musician the sound is your voice. I just try and develop that constantly. Find new colors and timbres. But it’s always my voice.
SC: How do you prepare for a difficult concert—a month before, a week before, and on the day of, for instance.
TTH: The most important thing is to feel that I know the piece well enough. The process is different every time. But I always focus on shaping it, feeling comfortable and telling people a story.
SC: What kind of repertoire do you most enjoy playing?
TTH: Everything. My perfect day of music would be a mix of whatever I like.
SC: Tell me about the repertoire and music-making of your mixed quintet, TTHQ?
TTH: I call it my rock band! Ha. We have one vision – we only play music we like. And that’s it. In a concert with us you’ll hear Piazzolla, Brubeck, Bach, Joni Mitchell, Irish-inspired Balkan folk music and so much more.
SC: What are some pieces that you have commissioned or premiered that you are particularly proud of?
TTH: The Danish composer Bent Sørensen just wrote a concerto for me that I absolutely love.
SC: What are some of the most interesting venues in which you have played?
TTH: I am so lucky to play at great and very interesting venues. Of course Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall have been amazing experiences. But also playing at the top of a mountain in Norway, the roof of the city hall and rock clubs are things I’ll never forget.
SC: In my blog, I have listed you as one of the greatest trumpet soloists living and playing today. Do you feel that is a fair assessment? What do you feel are your strongest assets as a musician?
TTH: Oh wow – thank you for that. It makes me so humble. I just play and do what I love. I’m honoured to be allowed to do what I do.
SC: What are some of your musical goals for the future?
TTH: Just to be able to do what I do now. Continue to play amazing music with inspiring musicians all around the world.
SC: What do you like to do when you are not playing trumpet?
TTH: Reading, movies – but most importantly being with friends and family!