Praised for her "extraordinary musicality" and "maturity way beyond her years", Miriam Helms Ålien is one of the most exciting young artists to emerge from Norway in recent years. Born in Alta in Northern-Norway, she started playing the violin when she was 6 ½ years old and has, since her solo debut at 8 years old, been a soloist with many of the Norwegian orchestras as well as with orchestras in Germany, Israel, Denmark, Italy, the Czech Republic and Russia.
Recent and upcoming highlights include performances with Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Schweizer Camerata in KKL Luzern, as well as chamber music performances in the Liszt Academy (Budapest), Berlin Konzerthaus, the Intl. Bergen Festival, and the 2nd edition of FESTIVALTA - the world's northernmost chamber music festival of its kind, for which Miriam is the artistic director.
Recent seasons have included performances with orchestras like the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Arctic Philharmonic, Israeli Netanya Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, Tromsø Symphony Orchestra, Arkhangelsk Chamber Orchestra and the Oslo Camerata.
A dedicated and passionate chamber musician, Miriam has been invited to play at numerous festivals, including the Bergen International Festival, Kissinger Sommer, Beethoven-Woche Bonn, Verbier Festival & Academy, Kronberg “Chamber Music Connects the World” Festival and OCM Prussia Cove, as well as the International Chamber Music Festivals in Oslo, Trondheim and Risør. Here she has worked closely with distinguished artists like András Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Tabea Zimmermann, Radovan Vlatković and Steven Isserlis.
Since 2020 she is also the founder and artistic director of her own international chamber music festival "FESTIVALTA" in her hometown, likely making it the world's northern-most festival of its kind.
Miriam has been invited to perform in famous halls like Wigmore Hall, KKL Luzern, Louvre Paris, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Norwegian Opera House, and she is also a regular performer on international TV and radio broadcasts.
In 2012 Miriam won the prestigious Princess Astrid Music Price. Previously she won first prize at the Kocian Violin Competition in the Czech Republic, the overall winner and recipient of the the Grand Prix Laureate, EMCY Prize and Bärenreiter Prize. She was awarded the Sparre Olsen Prize and Norwegian Music Publisher's Prize of Honour in 2009, and was named Norway’s "Young Musician of the Year 2010". She was also chosen by the Oslo Philharmonic as Norway’s representative for the Nordic Soloist Prize.
Miriam recently graduated from the Kronberg Academy where she studied with Prof. Ana Chumachenco and Tabea Zimmermann. Previously she studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, the HfM "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin and at the Barratt Due Institute for Music in Oslo. Former teachers include Ulf Wallin, Stephan Barratt-Due, Alf Richard and Henning Kraggerud. Further inspiration has come from masterclasses with artists such as Sir Simon Rattle, Ida Haendel, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Christoph Eschenbach, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Miriam Fried and Mauricio Fuks.
Miriam plays on a 1689 Stradivarius violin, generously on loan from ASAF - Anders Sveaas Almennyttige Fond.
She has a spellbinding stage-presence, and a musicality we very seldom hear from such young performers." - Avisa Tromsø