Article sur Helmut Lipsky de Mark Miller dans The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada and Canadians in Jazz, ©2001

The Mercury Press
ISBN 1-55128-093-0


Violinist, composer, born in Oldenburg, [West] Germany, 6 Nov 1953. Lipsky was raised in Switzerland, where he studied violin at the Conservatoire de Winterthur and played during his teens in both classical and fusion-jazz styles. He continued his training after 1974 in New York with Ivan Galamian, teacher at the Juilliard School of Music, and with Itzhak Perlman at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, then moved in 1981 to Montreal.

Lipsky's career there would take many forms - concert artist in both jazz and classical music, teacher at colleges and universities locally and in Trois-Rivières, composer of music for film and TV, studio musician - thus bringing him a relatively high profile in Quebec's musical community. Typically, his own ensembles have mixed jazz and classical influences in varying balance, with elements of World Music for additional colour.

He formed his first band, the Jean-Luc-Ponty-esque Mélosphère, in 1982 with musicians from Quebec City. Reconstituted in Montreal with James Gelfand, Jim Hillman, saxophoniste Simon Stone and others, the septet made the LP Melosphere (Jazzimage) in 1986 and appeared at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in 1987. Mélosphère overlapped in 1988 with Lipsky's second band, Éclectique Électrique, better known as Unclassified, with Karen Young, who has often participated in the violinist's projects. A CD, Unclassified, was issued by Amplitude in 1992.

By 1993, however, Lipsky had formed Tricycle with James Gelfand and Michel Donato; the trio completed Tricycle (Lost Chart) in 1994 and remained active through the decade. Meanwhile, another Lipsky ensemble - this one of Canadian, German and Swiss musicians - recorded Moontide (World Chart) in 1996 and toured Europe in 2000.

Lipsky in turn has recorded in turn with artists as different as Karen Young (Contre- danse, Good News on the Crumbling Walls), the New York composer/conductor Butch Morris (Testament: A Conduction Collection, 1992, New World-Countercurrents), the Swiss "New Age" harpist Andreas Vollenweider (Kryptos, 1996, Sony) and several Quebec and European pop stars.

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