The Group

Ensemble Offspring ensemble

Living new music has no greater champion than Ensemble Offspring. A devotion to fearless music making has seen us premiere over three hundred new works over the course of twenty-four years. Led by acclaimed percussionist Claire Edwardes, Ensemble Offspring comprises some of Australia’s most innovative and virtuosic performers and champions marginalised compositional voices including female and first peoples Australian composers. In 2016 the group won the APRA Art Music Award for Excellence by an Organisation. Ensemble Offspring has recently toured to Hong Kong, Albany, Amsterdam and Brewarinna and has regularly been featured at Mona Foma Festival as well Sydney Festival. We have a cult following at our Sizzle Series at the local bowling club and support the next generation of Australian musicians and composers through our Hatched Academy. Driven by a philosophy of promoting artistic integrity and challenging the way audiences perceive new music, Ensemble Offspring prides itself on a holistic commitment to the music of our time.

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 we launched Offspring Bites, our biennial audio-visual series.

With the creation of new work at the heart of Ensemble Offspring’s activities, we commission emerging and established composers through our Noisy Egg Creation Fund, and focus heavily on supporting marginalised voices through our involvement in Ngarra-Burria: First Peoples Composers and flying the flag for gender parity with our Noisy Women Commission and in our 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 and, ensemble in residence at the 2015 Shanghai New Music Week and 2010 ISCM (Sydney) and was selected to present a showcase at the 2019 Classical:NEXT. 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.

2019 sees Ensemble Offspring travelling to Launceston, Noosa, Byron Bay, Adelaide and across the globe twice to Rotterdam, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Berlin.

“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