Five questions for Dr Erin Helyard, Senior Lecturer (Historical Performance and Musicology), University of Melbourne

Erin Helyard. Photo by Giulia McGauran.
Erin Helyard. Photo by Giulia McGauran.

As part of our ongoing Staff Stories, Dr Erin Helyard discusses conducting, his favourite writers and the trait he most deplores in others.

As told to Kelly Southworth.

What can you tell us about what you’re holding in the photo above?

That’s the tuning hammer I use to tune the instrument I play the most: the harpsichord. It has been my constant companion for 20 years. It has also given me much grief at airports but, thankfully, it hasn’t yet been confiscated. I like the wooden handle.

What do you consider your most valuable skill?

As a conductor, I think it’s creating a safe and productive environment in which artists can flourish.

What’s the best thing about working at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music?

I’m inspired most by my wonderful colleagues and their dedication to teaching and research.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


Who are your favourite writers?

Ursula K Le Guin, Denis Diderot, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Erin Helyard. Photo by Giulia McGauran.
Erin Helyard. Photo by Giulia McGauran.

Dr Erin Helyard is a Senior Lecturer in Early Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. He is a conductor, performer and academic, and in 2017 was awarded a major Australian Research Council Discovery Grant for a collaborative project with four other colleagues for a research project entitled: Performing Transdisciplinarity: Image, Music, and Text in Eighteenth-Century Print Culture.

Vivica Genaux in Hasse’s Artaserse, featuring Erin Helyard as conductor and on harpsichord, is at City Recital Hall, Sydney, 29 November–5 December 2018. Vivica Genaux in Concert with Erin Helyard is at the Melbourne Recital Centre on 7 December 2018.