Sven Helbig

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Photo by Harald Hoffmann

Sven Helbig (born in Eisenhüttenstadt) is a German composer, director and music producer.


In 1996, Sven Helbig and hornist Markus Rindt founded the Dresden Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra is specialized in new, symphonic music in unusual productions and was the first European symphony orchestra to exclusively perform contemporary music.[1] Helbig gave up his managing position in 2007 to focus on his own musical work, resulting in orchestral pieces, film music and electronic music compositions (Breakcore). Helbig’s first experience with music began with the clarinet, but he later added the guitar, piano and drums. He studied music in Dresden and taught drums at the Carl-Maria von Weber Musical Academy in Dresden from 1995 to 2008. Helbig’s versatility made him a much sought-after producer for crossover projects. After his first international release Mein Herz brennt (2004) he came to the attention of Pet Shop Boys. They had just begun working on their soundtrack to Sergey Eisenstein’s silent film classic Battleship Potemkin, which was planned to be a combination of electronic and orchestral music.[2] The piece premiered in front of 25,000 spectators on London’s Trafalgar Square, in September 2004.

800th anniversary of Dresden, July 2006

Since then Sven Helbig has worked as a producer, composer and arranger with Rammstein, Pet Shop Boys, Snoop Dogg, Polarkreis 18, the Fauré Quartett, opera singer René Pape, German rapper Sido. [3] In 2013 the renowned label Deutsche Grammophon released his compositions for orchestra and piano quartet "Pocket Symphonies". In recent years, the artist has delved into work as a director. He directed music videos, stage shows and theatrical multimedia events.[4] For example, he produced the High-rise Symphony on Dresden’s 800th anniversary during which the orchestra’s musicians sat on individual balconies of an old East German apartment building. On behalf of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Helbig produced Kinder der Freiheit to mark the 20th anniversary of the German reunification, in 2009.

Helbigs work builds on the tradition of the Gesamtkunstwerk (all-embracing art form). Often he takes responsibility for content, music and production at the same time.


  • 2004: Premiere of The Battleship Potemkin at London’s Trafalgar Square
  • 2006: Production of the high-rise symphony at Dresden’s 800th anniversary (director, light design, music)
  • 2006: The Mover Ballet, 250 solar panels danced to his music during the opening ceremony of the world’s largest solar park in Arnheim
  • 2007: MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) music for Snoop Dogg (arranger)
  • 2007: String quartet “Jenseits des Sees” (composer)
  • 2009: Music video “The Color Of Snow” - Polarkreis 18 (director)
  • 2009: Music video “Happy Go Lucky” - Polarkreis 18 (director)
  • 2011: Premier performance of the ballet "The Most Incredible Thing" in London at Sadler's Wells Theatre, music by Pet Shop Boys with orchestrations by Sven Helbig


  • 2003: Album “Mein Herz brennt” - Torsten Rasch with René Pape and Katharina Thalbach, released by Deutsche Grammophon (producer)
  • 2004: Album “The Battleship Potemkin” - Pet Shop Boys (producer)
  • 2008: Album “The Color Of Snow” - Polarkreis 18 (orchestra arranger/producer)
  • 2009: Album “Liebe ist für alle da” - Rammstein (orchestra and choir arranger)
  • 2009: Album “Popsongs” - Fauré Quartett (arranger/producer) [5]
  • 2010: MTV Unplugged Sido (rapper) - (arranger/producer)
  • 2010: Album "Frei" - Polarkreis 18 (orchestra arranger/producer)
  • 2011: Album "The Most Incredible Thing" - Pet Shop Boys (orchestra arranger/producer) [6]
  • 2013: Album "Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig" - Apocalyptica (orchestra arranger/producer/writer)
  • 2013: Album "Pocket Symphonies" - (composer)
  • 2016: Album "Pocket Smphonies Electronica" - (composer)
  • 2016: Album "I Eat the Sun and Drink the Rain" - with Vocalconsort Berlin and Kristjan Järvi

Production Awards[edit]

  • 2004: ECHO Classical Music Award in the world premier recording category for “Mein Herz brennt” to Torsten Rasch
  • 2010: ECHO Classical Music Award in the classical music without borders category for “Popsongs” to the Fauré Quartett


  1. ^ Dresden Symphony Orchestra website
  2. ^ Interview by Jürgen Ziemer with Pet Shop Boys on Battleship Potemkin and Sven Helbig
  3. ^ Discography on Discogs
  4. ^ Crew United database
  5. ^ Der Spiegel on Fauré Quartett and Helbig
  6. ^ Sadler`s Wells

External links[edit]