Language Selection


"... not only was her playing technically brilliant, but also the atmospheres and inner moods were captured with great imagination...she is an innovator and a soul searcher that deserves much attention"

New York Concert Review

"... with her outstanding performance she proved right Beethoven's conviction that music is the one universal language, understood by everyone. Her performance was simply beautiful, expressive and concentrated - but what makes the listener most happy of all is her absolute calmness, the sovereignty of her interpretation, her ability to play out and give time - which makes the musical structure completely comprehensible ..."

Singen Nachrichten (D)

“ …the radiantly beautiful violin concerto in A-major by W.A. Mozart was in most talented hands: her passionate intensity, a  violin-sound like blossoms, exact knowledge of the score, and in the finale an almost predatory wildness - all of  this was spellbinding…"

Schaffhauser Nachrichten

"... At the centre of her musical performance was "Golem - a very unusual composition of hers for violin and tam-tam which she played together with her father and which was an emotional sensation. Hardly ever there was a silence like the one after the last beat of the tam-tam. Also in her own ciaconna...she showed masterful control of her instrument and in Bach's Partita in d-minor the played the five dances light and playful and ended with a true firework of virtuosity. "

Schaffhauser Nachrichten

Musical activities and education

Besides of her activity as a recitalist with a repertoire of over 350 major works, Helena Winkelman composes and often performs her own music. She also has a great interest in Jazz-improvisation and Swiss traditional folk music: she played for three years in a band with A. Alder, one of the most famous folk musicians of the country.

In 1997 she won the first prize at the International Andrea Postaccini Violin Competition in Italy. Other prizes include the Walther Bringolf Award and a Chamber Music Award from the "Music Academy of Heidelberg - Mannheim" and in 2001 the International Pro Musicis Award in Paris. Subsequently she was invited to give debuts at the Salle Cortot in Paris, Pickman Hall, Boston and Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, New York.

Since 1996 she is a regular guest at the international chamber music festival "IMS Prussia Cove", in England and from 2001 until 2004 she has been invited to participate in the International Music Festival "Young artists in concert", Davos, Switzerland. In 2003 she performed at the International Music Festival of Lucerne with Thomas Demenga, in 2011 she was invited to the Swedish Bastad Festival. Invitations followed from the festivals in Ernen (2013) and Lockenhaus (2014) 

In 2002 she became a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra (Claudio Abbado) and she was a member for 5 years.

Pursuing her aim to constantly challenge and broaden her own and her audiences’ musical horizon, she has become a passionate promoter of contemporary music and has performed many new works as a soloist as well as in collaboration with Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt, the Phoenix Ensemble, Basel and the prestigious Swiss chamber ensemble Camerata Variabile Basel (of which since 2010 she is the artistic director).

Regardless of this her repertoire includes as well most important concertos and sonatas written for her instrument. In 2006 she was leading the Davos Festival Orchestra with all Brandenburg Concertos and the b - minor suite by Bach and performed Saint Saens’ Trio and Sonata with cellist Thomas Demenga and pianist Werner Bärtschi. In 2007 she performed all Mozart Concertos and Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart with the Chamber Orchestra of  Schaffhausen to great critical acclaim. She performed with musicians like Hansheinz Schneeberger, Ivry Gitlis, Thomas und Patrick Demenga, Erich Höbarth, Christoph Richter, Dana Ciocarlie, Lucas Niggli, WuWei and Werner Bärtschi. She has recorded for SDR Stuttgart, Germany  (Radio and Television), DRS II and Radio WBGH Boston.

Helena Winkelman studied violin with Herbert Scherz and Gunars Larsens in Lucerne (teachers diploma with distinction), Valery Gradow in Mannheim, Daniel Phillips in New York and Thomas Füri in Basel (concert diploma with distinction).

From 2003-2007 she studied composition at the Music Academy Basel with Roland Moser. She participated in masterclasses with Gidon Kremer, György Kurtag, Hansheinz Schneeberger, Franco Gulli and Gerhard Schulz and received scholarships from the "Friedl- Wald- as well as the Goehner-foundations. In 2008/09 she was invited by the Swiss foundation Landis & Gyr to spend a year on a scholarship in London and work on her compositions exclusively. Since 1998 she lives in Basel, Switzerland.

Her violin is a F.Ruggeri from 1687, given to her by her grandfather.


© 2019 Helena Winkelman, crafted by bitwave