set and costume designer
Helmut Stürmer was born in Temesvár (Timișoara) in 1942 and studied painting at the University of Art and Design in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) between 1961 and 1963 before earning his degree in scenography in Bucharest in 1967. Between 1971 and 1976, he designed sets as a guest at various theatres in Cologne and at the Münchner Kammerspiele while also working, from 1968 until 1977, at the theatre in Nagyszeben (Sibiu) and at Bucharest's Bulandra Theatre. In 1977, he emigrated to Germany and started to work as a freelance designer in numerous theatres in Germany and elsewhere, including the Schauspiel in Stuttgart, Oslo's Norske Teatret, the Théatre de la Ville in Paris, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Zurich's Theater am Neumarktban, New York's La MaMa, several venues in Vienna (the Volkstheater, Staatsoper and Burgtheater) and Budapest (the Katona József and National theatres), as well as the Csokonai Theatre of Debrecen, Munich's Residenztheater, the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Bucharest's National Theatre and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In addition to his theatrical work, he has also created the visual designs for three film dramas. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with such directors as Vlad Mugur, Liviu Ciulei, Andrei Şerban, Lucian Pintilie and Silviu Purcărete. He has also won numerous awards, including the first prize of the Association of Romanian Set Designers for his set for Hamlet (1974), being named “set designer of the year” by Theater Heute (1997), the Romanian Critics' Award for his designs for the Craiova production of The Servant of Two Masters (2000), the lifetime achievement award from UNITER, the Romanian Theatre Association (2001), the Pécs National Theatre Festival's award for best set and the Hungarian Theatre Critics' Award, both for a production of Troilus and Cressida (2006), another UNITER award for best set for Faust (2007) and another recognition for best set from the Pécs National Theatre Festival for Les Fourberies de Scapin, (2012), the Transylvania Film Festival's Award of Excellence (2012) and the Romanian Association of Film Editors' Gopo Award for his visual designs for the film Somewhere in Palilula (2013).