bio

Helge Lien, Norwegian jazz pianist and composer, is an internationally acclaimed musician who explores the borders between different musical genres, but whose sound as a jazz pianist is always a distinctive feature.

Lien holds a master degree in music from the Norwegian Academy of Music, where Russian pianist Misha Alperin was his mentor and teacher of improvisation.

The core of Lien’s work has since 1999 been the Helge Lien Trio, consisting of the classic jazz constellation piano, bass and drums. In 2008 the trio won the Norwegian Grammy for their album Hello Troll, and has achieved international acclaim following nine international album releases, as well as numerous tours and festival performances in Japan, Canada, South Korea, Europe and Scandinavia.

In recent years, Lien has successfully joined forces with the Polish violinist Adam Baldych, who released the album ”Adam Baldych & Helge Lien Trio – Bridges” on ACT in 2015.

Lien is often to be heard making magic with the legendary Norwegian bass player Arild Andersen, both in trio and quartet settings. The live album “The Rose Window” was released in 2016, a trio recording with Andersen, Lien and drummer Gard Nilssen.

He has released two duo albums with singer Live Maria Roggen, the latest, ”YOU”, was released in 2017 on Ozella Music (DE).

In April 2017 he will release album number nine with Helge Lien Trio, ”Guzuguzu”, on Ozella Music.

Lien is known from a variety of other musical contexts, such as Tri O’Trang, the duo Hero with saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrom, and with the vocalists Silje Nergaard, Frida Ånnevik and Jørn Simen Øverli. In 2014 Lien was given the honour of composing the official concert celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Norwegian beloved poet and playwright Alf Prøysen.

In addition to his activities as composer and performer, Lien is currently employed as an associate professor in jazz at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.

Originally influenced by Bill Evans’ lyric-dynamic style of playing, he also shows affinity with Keith Jarrett’s narrative inventiveness and the subtle strophic expression of Brad Mehldau. Although contemporary and constantly moving forward, Lien’s heritage from growing up in an environment of untouched nature and folk music is noticeably ingrained in his sound. Today Lien is an equally innovative and technically brilliant player. His resourcefulness and briskly responsive playing is extremely beneficial to him and his fellow musicians. Lien proves himself as an excellent “composer of the moment” in all of his work – regardless of genre.

photo © Matija Pužar
photo © Matija Pužar