Helma van den Brink started out studying violin and piano but after several years took up the cello. She ultimately chose the bassoon, however, and after only two years was admitted to the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague where she studied with Johan Steinmann and Gustavo Núñez. She obtained her solo diploma in June 2005.
She has played in the European Union Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, and has performed as a substitute with various Dutch orchestras.
Van den Brink was appointed second bassoonist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in December 2005. Outside her work with the orchestra, she performs both as a soloist and as a chamber music player.