The Group

Ensemble Offspring ensemble

Ensemble Offspring is Australia’s pre-eminent adventurous new music group. With a reputation for original programming at the highest level, Ensemble Offspring pursues an agenda of directly shaping the music of our time. Embracing an eclectic and progressive repertoire, the ensemble has been described as having an “uncompromising assertiveness” and “systematically undercutting artistic pretension” by the media.

Based in Sydney, Ensemble Offspring is led by acclaimed percussionist and founding member, Claire Edwardes, and features a core line-up of seven of Australia’s most well-regarded and virtuosic musicians; Lamorna Nightingale (flute), Jason Noble (clarinet), Veronique Serret (violin), Blair Harris (cello), Bree van Reyk (drum kit & percussion) and Zubin Kanga (piano). Outside of Ensemble Offspring, members could be found performing with indigenous choirs, collaborating with singer-songwriters, composing music or performing concerti with world-class orchestras. Ensemble Offspring frequently expands to include other instrumentalists, as well as conductor Roland Peelman, and collaborates across genres and art forms, including theatre, popular music, dance and opera with companies such as Urban Theatre Projects, Paul Mac and Sydney Chamber Opera. In 2016 Offspring Bites was launched, a biennial audio-visual series releasing the best new commissions with bespoke video content.
With the creation of new work at the heart of Ensemble Offspring’s activities, they commission emerging and established composers through their Noisy Egg Creation Fund, and focus heavily on supporting marginalised voices through their involvement in Ngarra-Burria: First Peoples Composers and flying the flag for gender parity with their Noisy Women Commission and in core programming. For five years, Ensemble Offspring’s Hatched Academy has provided opportunities for the very best performers and composers from around Australia now with Associate Artist, Composer Summer School and Open Mic streams.
Touring Australia regularly, Ensemble Offspring has also performed extensively in Europe and Asia. The group was recently featured at 2019 Gaudeamus Muziekweek, presented a showcase at the 2019 Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam and was Ensemble in Residence at the 2015 Shanghai New Music Week and 2010 Sydney ISCM. In 2016, the group won the APRA Art Music Award for Excellence by an Organisation, celebrating 20-years of championing new and innovative music under co-founders Matthew Shlomowitz and long-time artistic director Damien Ricketson, to the internationally esteemed ensemble it is today.
“In a music industry that can often feel impenetrable — most of all for marginalised voices — its mission is not just honourable, but essential. In other words, it is not just doing the right thing, it is doing what’s necessary for the survival of new music in Australia.” Cut Common 2018

Meet the musicians