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Helge Lien

Helge Lien

Helge Lien is a Norwegian Jazz pianist who also works as a composer and band leader. He is best known for his work with the Jazz piano trio, the ‘Helge Lien Trio'.

Helge Lien (born 23 April 1975 and raised in Moelv, Norway) is a renowned Norwegian Jazz pianist, composer and band leader with a passion for melancholy composition with powerful dynamics and a great attention for detail.

Lien attended Strange High School from 1991 and earned his Examen artium in 1994, before taking up musical studies at Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo where he earned his Cand.mag. Lien undertook his postgraduate studies, beginning in 1998, under the guidance of Mikhail Alperin, the pianist of the Moscow Art Trio who is also well known for his brilliant solo performances and recordings. During this time Lien played with the group, Tri O'Trang before graduating with his cand.musicae in 2001.

Lien is known from a variety of musical contexts, such as his work with Tri O'Trang (with Torben Snekkestad on sax and Lars Andreas Haug on tuba), Helge Lien Trio (HLT), the duo Hero with saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrom, with the vocalist Silje Nergaard, Oslo Groove Company, and Jens Wendelboe Crazy Energy Quartet.

In the last decade, Lien's plethora of stunning performances and recordings has lead to recognition of the fact that a new Norwegian pianist of a particularly high calibre has entered the Jazz scene. He has appeared in various ensembles including duos and as sideman as well as performing as a solo artist, but it is first and foremost with Helge Lien Trio that he has moved up and out among the truly great.

The piano trio perform with the perfect balance between traditional jazz and avant-garde improvisation. With their five 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 legendary Berlin Jazz Club A-Trane in 2008, the album ‘Hello Troll' was the first Helge Lien Trio release for Ozella Music in Germany. This album was in many ways the ultimate breakthrough for Helge Lien Trio, although four previous releases on the Japanese DIW company had demonstrated what Lien had to offer.

Lien, who has written all the music on the latest Helge Lien Trio album ‘Natsukashii', writes music in the form of melodic poetry. The trio make many references to legendary trios with giants like Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett but even more so to piano trio master, Brad Mehldau who set a new standard for jazz trios at the start of the 21st century. Along with bassist Frode Berg and drummer Knut Aalefjær, Lien has has pushed the boundaries of the musical field in which he works with Helge Lien Trio being at the forefront of this movement.