Critical Acclaim

2023 Quotes & Reviews


★★★★ “This new music programme featured complex, fresh approaches to ensemble music with soundscapes which were engaging, effective and accessible despite the progressive approach to instrumental composition.” – Paul Nolan, Sydney Arts Guide

“The blending of these rarely combined instruments and [Claire Edwardes and Jason Noble’s] playing intertwining the virtuosic strands was breathtaking.” – Paul Nolan, Sydney Arts Guide

“The audience gasped, gushed and was ecstatically enriched.” – Paul Nolan, Sydney Arts Guide

“The balance between each member was tightly considered and so well-performed, allowing the listener to tune in and out of each part and decide on one’s own leader.” – Maddy Briggs, Limelight

“String harmonics from Alexandra Osborne and Blair Harris and magnificently-moulded phrasing from Noble and flautist Lamorna Nightingale spread a sense of discipline across the ensemble like wildfire.” – Maddy Briggs, Limelight

“When uninterrupted, the ensemble’s separate performances were quite powerful and when they joined forces, dizzying.” – Maddy Briggs, Limelight

“It was a concert that both celebrated and cemented enduring musical affinities.” – Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald


“A thoughtful and evocative performance.” – Daniel Kaan, ClassikON

fascinating polyrhythms… rendered with Offspring’s impressive rhythmic accuracy and precision.” – Daniel Kaan, ClassikON

“I love that there are performance platforms for the type of experimental new music presented in this concert, in venues less salubrious than the big concert halls. A bit on the grungy side in Waterloo is entirely appropriate.” – Daniel Kaan, ClassikON

“…they are in it for the music. I respect that indeed; long may the scene live.” – Daniel Kaan, ClassikON


★★★★½ – Vincent Plush, The Australian

“The fruits of the enterprise are heard here in performances by Ensemble Offspring, that splendid Sydney-based band led by Claire Edwardes.” – Vincent Plush, The Australian

“In time, this album and its successors may become historic, as much for their origins as for the quality and appeal of the performances of music in which all Australians might take pride.” – Vincent Plush, The Australian

★★★★½ – Steve Moffatt, Limelight

“First Nations composers have been given their own voice in a superb album jointly enabled by the Ngarra-Burra artist development program and ground-breaking Sydney group Ensemble Offspring.” – Steve Moffatt, Limelight


“Words probably can’t describe adequately just how marvellous it was to enjoy an up-close soiree in the home setting, wrapped in music and art. And it gets even better with a program that is so well considered and delivered.” – Rebecca Varidel, Sydney Scoop

“The chamber for Sunday’s Avant Gardens recital was the light and art filled lounge room of a stunning Alexandria home, the address of which was only shared with ticket holders (like a secret meeting, how exciting) and the music was provided by a trio of extremely accomplished Australian musicians.” – Pepe Newton, ClassikON

“I hope to hear more from this promising composer [Courtney Cousins] and commend Ensemble Offspring for its unflagging support of emerging artists.” – Pepe Newton, ClassikON

“The opportunity to chat to the trio after the concert (a wonderful feature of the Avant Gardens series) to delve into the technical aspects of playing a flute with hardly any melodic lines was fascinating.” – Pepe Newton, ClassikON

“The visual, often quite physical performances add a real sense of theatre which is exhilarating to watch. I encourage you to experience Ensemble Offspring’s unique brand of living new music up close for yourself, and don’t forget to stay and chat!” – Pepe Newton, ClassikON


“The program boasted a lineup made up of a majority of female and Australian composers; out of every performance I’ve reviewed so far, only Ensemble Offspring and Backstage Music (a project from EO’s flautist Lamorna Nightingale) have met this bar.” – Maddy Briggs, Limelight

“…a beautiful showcase of the possibilities of the instrument, especially when in the hands of Jason Noble.” – Maddy Briggs, Limelight

“Gorgeous cluster chords on Kopp’s piano next to Claire Edwardes’ precise vibraphone performance made for a lovely showcase…stabs between the piano’s left hand and Edwardes’ mallets was yet another reinforcement of the synchronicity between the players.” – Maddy Briggs, Limelight

“Kopp executed [Karen Tanaka’s Techno Etudes] perfectly, amazingly, in all its rhythmic and chromatic violence. A highlight of the night.” – Maddy Briggs, Limelight

“…a warmth and intimacy absent in grander venues; an ushering in of new Australian music to its audience at eye-level,; direct and welcoming. This connection it sparks becomes the heartbeat of new living music and Ensemble Offspring have its finger right on the pulse like no other.” – Maddy Briggs, Limelight


“Mesmerising music that mixes chamber pieces with jazz and folk influences is not something you experience every day, after hearing this concert, maybe it should be.” – Rob Kennedy, City News

“…the music in this concert… had vitality and held a distinct social essence that was performed by some of the best musicians in the business.” – Rob Kennedy, City News


★★★★ “The masterful quality of their playing was superb and, while they were intently observing each other they were obviously having fun.” – Lynne Lancaster, Sydney Arts Guide

“Meticulously curated…” – Lynne Lancaster, Sydney Arts Guide

“At times the concert was lyrical and reflective, at others sharp, spiky, bouncy and emphatic with staccato emphasis. Sometimes it rippled, bubbled and cascaded, at others it was haunting and quivering.” – Lynne Lancaster, Sydney Arts Guide


★★★★½ “Marlene Cummins brings decades of experience and training as a saxophonist to Starting Over, a work of reflective jazz written for clarinet, violin, vibraphone and bass brought to swinging life here by Ensemble Offspring.” – Lisa MacKinney, Limelight


“The dynamics increase further until we end up in a kind of sound storm. And just as unexpectedly as that engine started, it turns out that it can be turned off, the circle is complete.” – Ben Taffin, Nieuwe Noten


★★★★ “Ensemble Offspring’s performance under conductor Jack Symonds was spiky and seductive, drawing out the piece’s variegated textures over its six movements with reverent care, while emphasising the work’s brittle brilliance.” – Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald

“Sweetness here, full on aggression there, impassioned beauty and virtuosity thrown off as if it was a mere trifle made this performance both exhilarating and strangely comforting.”
“Every performer was both a soloist and an ensemble member and all were simply perfect.”
– Allan Holley, classikON

★★★★ “The work is a dazzlingly synchronised dance between human and machine and it brought the house down.” – Steve Moffatt, Limelight

“…the performance was so well prepared, and so brilliantly executed…” – Nicholas Routley, Australian Stage

“The concert was a magnificent testament to Ensemble Offspring’s mission – to make audiences aware of the cutting edge of contemporary, especially Australian, music.” – Nicholas Routley, Australian Stage


“Ensemble Offspring brought together birds and composers in their wonderful 2020 CD Birdsong. In Night Songs, the ensemble does full justice to Rose and Taylor and the birds that the musicians emulate and applaud with their superb playing.” – Keith Gallasch, RealTime


“Their focus on under-represented musical voices, drawing inspiration from and collaborating with First Nations, female-identifying, and emerging artists has supported the blossoming of whole genres of chamber music in Australia.” – Kate Rockstrom, Readings

“This is modern chamber music at its best.” – Kate Rockstrom, Readings


“The ensemble carried off the tongue-in-cheek performance without a hitch [and] the audience was left laughing…” – Isobel Archer, CutCommon