Hanne Helledie is a versatile composer, writing in a variety of genres from symphony orchestra to big band, and from gospel group and jazz/world music ensembles to classical chamber ensembles. Helledie is a member of the merit-based Danish Composers Society (Dansk Komponist Forening) since 2013.
From her start as a drummer, she kept expressing musical curiosity, first studying singing, piano, and choir conducting at the University of Copenhagen, then continuing at the Conservatory of Copenhagen where she studied percussion with the legendary professor Bent Lylloff and theory with the well-known arranger, Ole Kock-Hansen. After one year she made the leap to America - to the renowned University of North Texas where she continued her studies, making the switch to jazz studies and piano.
Here she wrote several originals for big band, one entitled “Sound Caliber”, which received its world premiere by “The One O’Clock Lab Band”, the flagship bigband of The University of North Texas, and was part of the repertoire list of their American Tour, the composition also being enclosed in the permanent library of charts in the Jazz studies program at UNT. In her last year of study Helledie wrote 3 pieces for symphony orchestra, “Snowscape”, “Nightwinds" and “Sandpiece". After graduating with a Masters in Jazz Studies in 2000, Helledie moved to Los Angeles. A recording of “Nightwinds” won her a prestigious place in a national competition as a composer, admission to the month-long workshop at The Henry Mancini Institute of Los Angeles, for which she wrote “From the City to the Sanctuary”, a work for symphony orchestra, which was premiered at a concert at Royce Hall, also featuring the world-renowned Jerry Goldschmidt as composer and conductor.
During the years in LA Helledie had a myriad of writing and performance opportunities and enjoyed important mentorship, scholarships and other educational opportunities. See list of selective commissioned works and performances below.
In 2011 Helledie moved back to Denmark for family reasons. In Denmark Helledie has continued her collaborations over the borders with her musical partners, doing concerts in California and masterclasses in composition at Marymount University and University of California, Riverside. With her frequent collaborator, violinist Frances Moore, she has done benefit concerts for the El Sistema programs among others, lately joining the terrific duo, MILO (Mik Sandgren and Lola Gayle) in a concert for worthy causes, which is a focal point for Helledie.
In Denmark Helledie has written for and performed in a variety of musical genres, fx, Ensemble Storstrøm, (3 strings, 3 woodwinds, harp & piano), for which she composed “The Anointed One”, which was premiered in 2013 and performed a number of times in the following years, most notably as part of “Schubertiaden”, a Classical Music festival.
In Denmark Helledie has been the musical leader of concerts featuring some of the most talented Danish, English and Swedish jazz musicians and soloists: Morten Ankarfeldt, Anders Fjeldsted, Jesper Løvdal, Gerard Presencer, Sarah Elgeti, Rolf Thofte Sørensen a.m.o. Recently she has performed with the powerful and celebrated tenor saxophone player, Tomas Franck, recipient of the Ben Webster Award, in a trio setting. They look forward to continuing their collaboration.
Also, she performs on a regular basis with celebrated guitar player and composer, Jacob Rønne, forming the ensemble Rønne-Helledie Duo.
In the field of through-composed music her most recent regular collaborators are the very fine string players, Eva Boulekbache Vasarhelyi, violin, and Julie Tandrup Kock, cello. Both are freelance musicians, doing studio work with pop artists and playing with the best chamber music ensembles and symphony orchestras, most notably the DR Symphony Orchestra, and The Royal Symphony Orchestra of Denmark. Helledie’s music for these smaller ensembles have her unique touch of world music and influence from all the great Masters, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Coltrane, Davis, Jobim etc…