Helen Hopekirk was born Edinburgh. She studied there with A. C. Mackenzie, then at Leipzig Conservatory, and later under Leschizky in Vienna. Her concert debut was at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig in 1878, and over the next few years gave many recitals in England and Scotland. In 1882 she married a Scottish business man and music critic, and after extended visits to the United States, finally settled there in 1897. She taught at the New England Conservatory at Boston, and later privately at Brookline, Massachusetts. Her compositions include several orchestral works, a Concerto and a Konzertstuck for piano and orchestra, several pieces for violin and piano, and over a hundred songs.