News

Photo: Claire Edwardes and Damien Ricketson embrace during a standing ovation at the end of Future Retro on 25 Oct 2015

Ensemble Offspring founder and co-Artistic Director, Damien Ricketson, has announced he is stepping down from his position at the end of 2015. Acting in the new role of Chair of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium, the composer leaves the organisation after 20 years, announcing his departure at a concert in celebration of the group’s 20th anniversary, Future Retro. Co-Artistic director, Claire Edwardes will continue to lead the organisation as its sole Artistic Director. Read more

Ensemble Offspring is thrilled to be a featured ensemble at the 8th International Shanghai New Music Week. EO regulars Claire Edwardes, Lamorna Nightingale, Jason Noble and Roland Peelman will be joined by special guest from Melbourne Lizzy Welsh, Blair Harris and our very own Hatched Academy pianist, Jacob Abela, as we take to the sky and hit China running with three dynamic programs of new music. Our two main concerts comprise a mix of Australian repertoire we’ve commissioned over the years – Mary Finsterer, Rosalind Page, Damien Ricketson – as well as brand new repertoire from prominent Chinese composers, which will see us team up with local sheng and pipa players in Shanghai. We are also presenting an international composition masterclass with students from around the world led by renowned Austrian composer Beat Furrer. Read more

Ensemble Offspring invites applications from curious, open-minded and adventurous performers and composers under 30 for the 2016 Hatched Academy. The program provides hands-on practical experience, equipping participants with the diverse skills sets they need to go on to become our successful artistic and cultural leaders of the future. Read more

In July 2015, Ensemble Offspring hit Western Sydney where over 10,000 excited kids and parents were captivated by Pipe Dreams Green. In the centre of Casula Powerhouse’s vast Turbine Hall, a giant tree-like structure was made from brightly coloured plastic tubes: a garish clash of organic forms and artificial materials for The Way Out West Children’s Festival. Devised by co-Artistic Director Damien Ricketson, the installation was the centrepiece for a series of twelve performances and workshops over four days by Ensemble Offspring, including Damien, Jason Noble, Lamorna Nightingale, Kathy Cogill and Elizabeth Jigalin. Watch a time-lapse video of the structure as it is built, extended through the festival, and dismantled, and given to children at the festival, and take a tour through the installation in photos.
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Ensemble Offspring, together with 417 other arts organisations around the country, recently had their funding submissions to the Australia Council suspended in the wake of the arts budget introduced by Minister for the Arts, Senator George Brandis. With the future uncertain, composer and co-Artistic Director, Damien Ricketson, examines a recent protest at the Sydney Opera House, explaining why the opening night of Opera Australia’s Turandot was targeted. Drawing upon some Dutch history to provide historical narrative, Ricketson puts out a call-to-action for independent-minded musicians to demand a fair funding future.
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Ensemble Offspring will premiere four brand new works by Australian Composers Cor Fuhler, Steffan Ianigro, Damien Ricketson and Julian Day as part of Vivid Sydney at Seymour on Friday 29th May. Part of Musify+Gamify, a festival within a festival presenting contemporary perspectives on musified games and gamified music, Ensemble Offspring will comprise of an all-wind quartet driven by rules more akin to gaming than classical composition, exploring dynamic and fluid musical environments. Read more

On 14th May 2015, Ensemble Offspring made their second appearance at Melbourne’s Metropolis New Music Festival—in 2015 a showcase of works written for, and inspired by, the moving image.

In their program, Light is Calling, the group explores the immersive world of music and image, from the depths of the ocean to sound worlds of molten glass. The group will perform the program for a second time as part of the Musicological Society of Australia’s 2015 conference, hosted by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, on 2nd October. Ensemble Offspring co-Artistic Director, Claire Edwardes, talk about the program and what excites us about combining sound with image. Read more

In February 2015, Ensemble Offspring hit the road for our first concert series of 2015. Broken Consorts, a collaboration with historically informed performance ensemble Ironwood, is a sonic encounter of new and old. Bringing music from Elizabethan and Tudor England together with music by Australian composers Damien Ricketson and Mary Finisterer, the show also features a new commission from Felicity Wilcox for period and contemporary instruments, Uncovered Ground, that will received its world premiere in Hobart on 20th February.

Follow our travels as new and old collide, with daily updates from members of Ensemble Offspring. We will kick off with an insight from pianist Zubin Kanga. Read more

Thanks to the support of APRA and the Australia Council, in 2015 we have been able to award four talented applicants a place in our Hatched Academy. This year our Academy represent a broad and national line-up of musicians. The composers are Dan Thorpe from Adelaide and Samuel Smith from Melbourne, with performers represented by American-born flautist Jodie Rottle, now a resident of Brisbane and Melbourne-based pianist Jacob Abela (piano) who originally hails from Sydney. Read more

We’re really excited to be joined by two leading contemporary dancers, Narelle Benjamin and Kathy Cogill and the always surprising actor, Katia Molino, for The Secret Noise, who will be working alongside EO regulars Claire Edwardes, Bree van Reyk and Jason Noble over the next three weeks of creative development and rehearsals leading up to the final shows on 20-22 November. Sitting somewhere between dance, music and physical installation, dancers will have to make music, and musicians will have to dance. Composer, Damien Ricketson, will also be playing turntables and electronics, all under the direction of Carlos Gomes, with lighting by Fausto Brusamolino.

Meet dancers Narelle (Nelly) and Kathy, and actor Katia as they introduce themselves below. Read more