Helffer, Claude, French pianist; b. Paris, June 18, 1922. He studied piano with Robert Casadesus; following classical studies at the École Polytechnique (1939–42), he studied harmony, counterpoint, and composition with Leibowitz. In 1948 he made his debut in Paris and subsequently made tours of Europe. In 1966 he made his first tour of the U.S.; also appeared in South America, Australia, and Japan. While a master of the standard repertory, he became best known for his championship of 20th century music. In addition to Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, and Schoenberg, he was a convincing interpreter of Boulez, Barraqué, Xenakis, Amy, and others. With B. Albera, he wrote Entretiens avec Claude Helffer (Geneva, 1995).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire