Neeta Helms, Founder and President

Email Neeta

Born in India to a musical family, Neeta Helms studied piano from the age of four, singing in public and in choirs since age five. Neeta holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. from India’s top institutions. Since 1992, she has built Classical Movements into the premier music touring company, offering services to world-class orchestras and choruses, world-renowned conductors, composers, and soloists, as well as numerous celebrated institutions. Neeta has led trailblazing tours all over the world, including Russia, only a year after the fall of the Soviet Union.  Despite constant challenges, Neeta has made a deliberate effort to take ensembles to frequently overlooked destinations, and the company has worked in 147 countries. Neeta is especially attracted to meaningful and pioneering projects, including 2019s Cuban American Youth Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra’s historic tours to Cuba and South Africa, bringing musicians from the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra to Washington, D.C. in the early days of the war (2003) and arranging for musicians from 65 countries to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestras in New York (2009) and Sydney (2011).

Since the earliest tours, Neeta has advocated for genuine exchanges with local cultures and musicians. Whether members of the Cincinnati Symphony performing in an informal workshop with Syrian refugees in Utrecht, Johannesburg-based Gauteng Choristers and South African soloists joining the Minnesota Orchestra and Chorale for performances of South African songs and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony or choirs and singers from 40 countries singing together on the stage of the Kennedy Center, collaborations that transcend cultural differences are central to Neeta’s vision.

In addition, Classical Movements has created choral festivals on four continents, a one-of-a-kind young artists program in Prague and has commissioned 106 new works by 101 composers. Of these composers, 78 are Women or Composers of Color, 61 are international (outside the US) and 75 are choral works.  The rest are for orchestras and small chamber ensembles.

Neeta has traveled to 118 countries and maintains strong professional and personal relationships around the world. In 2014, Classical Movements was awarded the “BCA10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America” by Americans for the Arts. Neeta was given the “Arts Matter” Award by the New Orchestra of Washington in 2019. In both 2017 and in 2021 Neeta was named one of Musical America’s Top 30 leaders in the Classical Music industry.

Neeta speaks English and Hindi fluently, as well as basic German, French and Spanish. Apart from family, friends, and travel, she loves reading, art, music, politics, puzzles and her garden.