Marie-Elisabeth Hecker attended the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Zwickau before the distinguished
German cellist Peter Bruns became her principal teacher. She continued her studies with Heinrich Schiff
and subsequently took part in masterclasses with eminent figures such as Anner Bylsma, Bernard
Greenhouse, Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, and Steven Isserlis. In 2001, she won the Special Prize at
the Dotzauer Competition for Young Cellists in Dresden, as well as the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Prize in
She made her international breakthrough with her sensational success at the 8th Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 2005, where she became the first contestant in the event's history to win first prize as well as two special prizes. She has been a guest with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonie, the Filarmonica della Scala (Milan), the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Frankfurt HR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra in Saint Petersburg, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de France, the Berlin Staatskapelle, and the Wiener Symphoniker – under the baton of eminent conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Daniel Harding, Thomas Hengelbrock, Philippe Herreweghe, Marek Janowski, Fabio Luisi, Kent Nagano, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Christian Thielemann, and Christoph von Dohnányi. Especially with her husband, the pianist Martin Helmchen, she appears in recitals all over the world. She also regularly performs chamber music concerts in various formations with Veronika Eberle, Christian Tetzlaff, Stephen Waarts, Carolin Widmann, and the Apollon Musagète Quartet.
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker was appointed a professor at Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden in August 2017. In cooperation with Music Road Rwanda, she regularly travels to Rwanda in order to support a local music school with concerts and educational projects. Marie-Elisabeth Hecker is supported by the Kronberg Academy. 2022 was the year of her début performance at the Ruhr Piano Festival.