Born in 1981, Helen Grime studied at the Royal College of Music with Julian Anderson and Edwin Roxburgh (composition) and John Anderson (oboe)
She came to public attention in 2003, when her Oboe Concerto won a British Composer Award. In 2008 she was awarded a Leonard Bernstein Fellowship to attend the Tanglewood Music Center where she studied with John Harbison, Michael Gandolfi, Shulamit Ran and Augusta Read Thomas. Grime was a Legal and General Junior Fellow at the Royal College of Music from 2007 to 2009.
Grime has had works commissioned by ensembles and institutions including the London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre, Aldeburgh Music, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Tanglewood Music Center. Conductors who have performed her work include Sir Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Harding, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Oliver Knussen and Sir Mark Elder.
Between 2011 and 2015 Grime was Associate Composer to the Hallé Orchestra. This fruitful period resulted in a series of new works and a recording of her orchestral works released by NMC Recordings. This disc was awarded ‘Editors Choice’ by Gramophone Magazine on its release and was nominated in the Contemporary category of the 2015 Gramophone Awards. In 2016 her Two Eardley Pictures were premiered at the BBC Proms and in Glasgow, winning the prize for large-scale composition in the Scottish Awards for New Music and a nomination in the British Composer Awards the following year.
In 2016 Grime was appointed as Composer in Residence at the Wigmore Hall. Highlights of this period include a day of concerts devoted to her music, as well as the premieres of a Piano Concerto for Huw Watkins and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group conducted by Oliver Knussen, and a song cycle, Bright Travellers, for soprano Ruby Hughes and Joseph Middleton.
In 2017 she was commissioned by the Barbican to write a two-part work for Sir Simon Rattle’s inaugural season as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra. The first instalment, Fanfares, opened the LSO’s 17/18 season and the complete work, Woven Space, received its premiere in April 2018.
Between 2010 and 2017 Grime was Lecturer in Composition at Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2017 she was appointed Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.