Hélder Alves was born in Salzedas, Portugal, in 1984. He started his musical studies in Sociedade Filarmónica de Salzedas.
He has graduated from Conservatório de Música do Porto, where he studied with Francisco Ferreira. He then studied in ESMAE, with professors Fernando Ramos and Henk van Twillert, and completed his degree in Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, with professor José Massarrão. Later, he concluded his Performance master’s degree in ESML, with professor José Massarrão. The title of his thesis is “The approach to saxophone by Russell Peterson”.
He participated in numerous seminars, courses and masterclasses, national and internationally. In these, he worked with Henk Van Twillert, Jean-Yves Formeau, Vincent David, Claude Delangle, Ed Boggard, Mario Marzi and José Massarrão.
He got several national and international prizes: 1st prize in “Primeiras Jornadas do Saxofone – Porto, 2004”; 1st prize in the intern competition at Conservatório de Música do Porto (2006 and 2007); 1st prize in Concurso “Anatólio Falé”, in Academia de Música de Lagos; 1st prize (level A) in Concurso Internacional ”Vitor Santos” (2007); 1st prize (superior level) in chamber music in Prémio Jovens Músicos (2008) with Duo XaSonaiP; 2nd prize in Concurso de Interpretação do Estoril (2008); 1st prize in Concurso Terras de La Sallete, Oliveira de Azeméis (2008); Finalist in Concurso Internacional de Benidorm (2008); 2nd prize (superior level) in saxophone soloist in Prémio Jovens Músicos (2009); 2nd prize in Concurso de Interpretação do Estoril (2010); 3rd prize in Concurso Internacional de Música de Câmara in Salónica, Greece (2010) with Duo XaSonaiP.
As a soloist, he played with the Portuguese Navy Band (conducted by Délio Gonçalves), Orquestra de Sopros do INATEL (conducted by Francisco Ferreira), Orquestra do Conservatório de Música do Porto (conducted by Kamen Goleminov) and Orquestra Projecto ESML (conducted by Samuel Pascoal).
He worked with the following composers: Tiago Derriça, Manuel Durão, Sofia Rocha, Daniel Moreira, Paulo Santiago, Sérgio Azevedo and Benjamin Boone.
He has collaborated with several orchestras and groups, such as Orquestra Gulbenkian, Orquestra Momentum Perpetuum, Orquestra de Sopros dos Templários, Banda Sinfónica Portuguesa, Ensemble Contemporaneus and Orquestra de Jazz do Hot Club de Portugal.
He currently plays in the Portuguese Navy Band (since 2006) and is the saxophonist in Duo XaSonaiP (saxophone and piano). Also, he teaches saxophone in Escola de Música do Conservatório Nacional (since 2008), in Instituto Piaget de Almada (since 2010) and in Conservatório de Música de Cascais (since 2010), and regularly gives courses and masterclasses all over Portugal.