Erin Helyard has been acclaimed as an inspiring conductor, a virtuosic and expressive performer of the harpsichord and fortepiano, and a lucid scholar who is passionate about promoting discourse between musicology and performance. Erin graduated in harpsichord performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with first-class honours and the University Medal. He completed his Masters in fortepiano performance and a PhD in musicology with Tom Beghin at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal. His monograph Clementi and the woman at the piano: virtuosity and the market for music in eighteenth-century London was published by Oxford University Studies in Enlightenment in 2022.
As Artistic Director and co-founder of the celebrated Pinchgut Opera and the Orchestra of the Antipodes (Sydney) he has forged new standards of excellence in historically-informed performance in Australia. The company won Best Rediscovered Opera (2019) for Hasse’s Artaserse at the International Opera Awards in London. Pinchgut’s opera film, A Delicate Fire, won Best Australian Feature Film at the Sydney Women’s International Film Festival in 2021. Operas under his direction have been awarded Best Opera at the Helpmann Awards for three consecutive years (2015-2017) and he has received two Helpmann Awards for Best Musical Direction: one for a fêted revival of Saul (Adelaide Festival) in 2017 and the other for Hasse’s Artaserse (Pinchgut Opera) in 2019. Together with Richard Tognetti, Erin won an ARIA and an AIR award for Best Classical Album in 2020.
He regularly appears as a collaborator with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Erin has distinguished himself as a conductor in dynamic performances with the Sydney, Adelaide, Tasmanian, and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, ACO Collective, the Australian National Academy of Music, the Australian Haydn Ensemble, and as a duo partner on historical pianos with David Greco (baritone) and Stephanie McCallum (piano). In 2018 he was recognised with a Music and Opera Singers Trust Achievement Award (MAA) for contribution to the arts in Australia. In 2022 Erin was an Artist in Residence at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
Erin is a Senior Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.