Bert Helsen is born in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2004 he received with his teacher Dirk Noyen his Master ‘s Degree for bassoon at the Lemmensinstitute Leuven. After that, he specialized at the IMEP Namen with Grazziano Moretto.
For five years he was appointed in the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders. Since 2010 Bert Helsen was appointed as bassoon solo in the National Orchestra of Belgium under the musical director Andrey Boreyko. With this National Orchestra he performed a couple of times Mozart’s bassoon concerto such as a concert with the famous maestro conductor Walter Weller.
Throughout the years he made a lot of experience in other orchestras and ensembles like: Ictus ensemble, Oxalys ensemble, Prometheus ensemble, I Solisti del Vento, the Royal National Opera , Opera de Wallonie, Flemish Opera, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Netherlands Philharmonic, National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands.
He likes the most to find new technical and musical challenges in contemporary music, so he can show more his personality on the instrument.
So he started last year a new ensemble HaftCraft. This ensemble is based on a stringquintet, bassoon and double bassoon. Except the more contemporary program with the piano player Geert Callaert, the ensemble started a special project ‘Variations on a Persian Theme’ within they try find a new hybrid musical style between Iranian traditional music and European classical music.
In April 2016 Bert Helsen was invited on the first edition of the Tehran Contemporary Music Festival. In April 2017, the HaftCraft ensemble will start his Asian Tour.
Recently they made a recording in Estonia with music of Tõnu Kõrvits’ ‘Driftwood Songs’.
Other activities are teaching bassoon in the Brussels Highschool of Music and Lemmensinstitute, Luca School of Arts.