Helge Lien

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Helge Lien
Helge-lien sh.jpg
Helge Lien in Aarhus, Denmark 2016.
Background information
Born (1975-04-23) 23 April 1975 (age 44)
Moelv, Ringsaker, Norway
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
LabelsOzella Music
Curling Legs
DIW Records
Jazzaway Records

Helge Lien (born 23 April 1975) is a Norwegian jazz pianist, composer and band leader.[1] He has in recent years also developed a passion for photography and digital processing of images and has passion for powerful melancholy, dynamics and detail.[2]


Lien attended Stange High School 1991 and earned his Examen artium in 1994, before taking up musical studies at Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. He got a Cand.mag. in 1998 under guidance of Mikhail Alperin, known as pianist of the Moscow Art Trio and from solo performances and recordings, and did postgraduate studies with the group Tri O'Trang culminating with cand.musicae exam in 2001.


Lien is known from a variety of musical contexts, such as Tri O'Trang (with Torben Snekkestad on sax and Lars Andreas Haug on tuba), Helge Lien Trio, the duo Hero with saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrom, and with the vocalists Live Maria Roggen and Silje Nergaard.

Helge Lien at the 2016 Nattjazz.

The last decade Lien has given us a lot of evidence that a new Norwegian pianist of very large caliber has entered the Jazz scene. We have encountered him in various constellations from solo piano, duos and as sideman, but it is first and foremost with Helge Lien Trio that he has moved up and out among the truly great. Here we can encounter, more than any other classic piano trio, the balance between jazz tradition and improvisation avantgardist excellent. With their seven albums and thrilling live performances they have already earned a large fan base, and when the Helge Lien Trio completed their first tour of Germany on the Berlin Jazz Club A-Trane in 2008, the album Hello Troll was the first Helge Lien Trio release for Ozella Music in Germany.[3] This album was in many ways the ultimate breakthrough for Helge Lien Trio, although four previous releases on the Japanese DIW company had told us what Lien had to offer.[4]

Lien, who has written all the music on the latest Helge Lien Trio album Natsukashii, is a melodic poet in temperament. In this classic trio format there are lots of references to trios with giants like Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett but even more obvious are the links to the Brad Mehldau trio, which set a new standard for jazz trio for the new 2000 millennium. Along with bassist Frode Berg and drummer Knut Aalefjær, who was substituted with Per Oddvar Johansen from 2013, Lien has taken new steps over again and it is up to that category Helge Lien Trio is also moving.[4][5]



Solo albums[edit]

  • 2000: Talking to a tree (Lydlauget ANS)
  • 2012: Kattenslager (Ozella/Musikklosen)


With Tri O'Trang
  • 2000: Liker (NorCD)
  • 2002: Fordivi (Challenge Records)
  • 2005: Plays Jon Eberson (Curling Legs) with Jon Eberson and Per Oddvar Johansen
  • 2006: (Curling Legs)
With Helge Lien Trio
  • 2001: What are you doing the rest of your life (Curling Legs)
  • 2002: Spiral circle (japanske DIW) nominated for the Spellemannprisen 2002
  • 2003: Asymmetrics (DIW)
  • 2005: Live (Curling Legs)
  • 2006: To the little radio (DIW)
  • 2008: Hello Troll (Ozella) Spellemannprisen 2008
  • 2011: Natsukashii (Ozella) with Frode Berg and Knut Aalefjær
  • 2014. Badgers and Other Beings (Ozella)
  • 2015: Bridges (ACT), feat. Adam Baldych
  • 2017: Guzuguzu (Moving Slowly) (Ozella)
  • 2005: Prøysen – musikken fra dokumentaren (Jazzavdelingen) nominated for the Edvard Prize in 2005
  • 2006: The Discovery & Exploration of Planet HERO (Jazzaway)
With LiveLien
  • 2011: Låvesalg (Jazzland/Universal)
  • 2016: YOU (Ozella)
With Arild Andersen and Gard Nilssen
  • 2016: The Rose Window (Deutsche Media Productions), live at Theater Gütersloh


  1. ^ "Helge Lien Biography – Store Norske Leksikon".
  2. ^ "Helge Lien – iDekor.no".
  3. ^ "Helge Lien Trio – jena.de" (in German). Archived from the original on 6 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Helge Lien Trio – Victoria Nasjonal Jazzscene" (in Norwegian).
  5. ^ "Review: Helge Lien Trio – Musik-Kritik" (in German).
  6. ^ "DnB NOR prize for Helge Lien". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kjetil Møster
Recipient of the Nattjazzprisen
Succeeded by
No reward in 2008
Preceded by
Petter Wettre
Recipient of the Jazz Spellemannprisen
Succeeded by
Tord Gustavsen Ensemble
Preceded by
Morten Qvenild
Recipient of the Kongsberg Jazz Award
Succeeded by
Ole Morten Vågan