Paul Helmer, Ph.D. (Columbia)

Paul Helmer pursued musical studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Faculty of Music in Toronto as well as in Stuttgart, Berlin, Vienna. After returning to Canada, Paul Helmer was appointed Resident Musician at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton (1962-64) and then undertook academic studies at the University of Toronto and Columbia University in New York, graduating in 1975 with a Ph. D. in historical musicology. He has appeared as soloist with symphony orchestras under the direction of Sir Ernest Macmillan, Walter Susskind, Heinz Unger, and Seiji Ozawa. As accompanist he has, among others, appeared with Steven Staryk, Julius Baker, Jeanne Baxtresser, the Orford Quartet, Bernard Turgeon, Victor Braun, and Kathy Berberian. He has premiered John Weinzweig's Piano Concerto, and performed in the Canadian premiere of Olivier Messian's Turangalila Symphony as well as many quarter- and sixth-of-tone compositions by twentieth-century composers. Helmer has made numerous recordings for the CBC both as soloist and accompanist. He has performed in public the complete piano works of Maurice. In December, 1995, he completed a seven-recital series of the solo piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven at Montreal's Redpath Hall.

His reconstruction of the twelfth-century Mass, missa sancti iacobi, was published by the Mediaeval Institute of Music in Ottawa, and has been recorded by McGill Records. Recently his edition of the premier et secont livre de fauvel, a fourteenth-century religious poetic-musical creation, was published by the Mediaeval Institute of Music.At present he is associate professor at McGill University where he teaches concentrates on performance practise, paleography and medieval music.