Nurturing Australian Artists

Hatched Academy

What is Hatched Academy?

Established in 2014 to support exceptional young Australian performers and composers, Ensemble Offspring’s Hatched Academy offers three streams: Hatched Composer Intensive, Hatched Associate Artist and the Hatched Mentorship Program.

In 2022, acclaimed Berlin-based Australian composer Brett Dean became the Hatched Academy Ambassador and a composer mentor for the Hatched Composer Intensive. To learn more about Hatched Academy, watch the 2022 showreel and read some testimonials from our Hatched alumni.

Applications for Hatched Associate Artist 2024 closed on 31 July 2023.


Hatched Associate Artist

Each year an elite Australian instrumentalist with a passion for new music is selected as Ensemble Offspring’s Hatched Associate Artist.

In an annual residency the Associate Artist will commission, premiere and professionally record a new work for their instrument, which is funded by Ensemble Offspring and supported by the ensemble’s industry knowledge and resources. The Associate Artist will also perform as part of the Hatched Composer Intensive ensemble, developing and premiering five new works by emerging Australian composers.

Throughout the year, creative and business mentorship is provided by Artistic Director and percussionist Claire Edwardes to guide the Associate Artist in sculpting a successful performance career.

All travel costs are covered for interstate artists, and the program is valued at $10,000.

“Hatched Academy was a great opportunity to experience a comprehensive overview of what it’s like to be a freelance artist in an ensemble setting – basically synthesising that knowledge into a package to take back with me when I pursue my own things.” – Jacob Abela (piano), 2015 Hatched Associate Artist

Applications for Hatched Associate Artist 2024 closed on 31 July 2023

Hatched Composer Intensive

The 2023 Hatched Composer Intensive provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for five emerging composers from around Australia to be mentored throughout the year by their chosen international mentor on a new work for Ensemble Offspring. This culminates in an intensive week of workshops with Ensemble Offspring, industry specialists and a lead composer mentor, culminating in a professionally documented showcase of the composers’ new works. The Hatched Composer Intensive offers composers the opportunity to have their music workshopped by some of Australia’s finest chamber musicians with years of experience in new music. Feedback is delivered in a warm, honest and constructive manner and composers are supported in their plight to create the most idiomatic and effective chamber work possible.

Throughout the week the participants are given the opportunity to discuss and share ideas throughout informative industry sessions on programming, funding, marketing, audience engagement, and First Nations protocols. The participants will be connected with important industry contacts and provided with a professional recording of their new work for their portfolio, helping to constructively build their early careers. All participant costs are covered for the program and participation is valued at $4000 per participant.

Watch the 2022 showreel, read the testimonials and download the 2023 Info Booklet to get a feel for the experience.

Applications for the 2023 Hatched Composer Intensive are now closed.

Hatched Mentorship Program

Our Hatched Mentorship Program consists of up to two one-on-one Zoom sessions with a mentor chosen from among Ensemble Offspring’s experienced core musicians and collaborating composers/performers. These artists generously share their experience through instrumental or composition lessons, as well as offering industry, marketing and grant writing advice. The Hatched Mentorship Program occurs throughout the month of July 2023 and is open to participants from the age of 16 upwards. The program supports artists of diverse backgrounds, hailing from metropolitan and regional areas and a range of experience levels.

In 2023, the mentors are Claire Edwardes (percussion/Artistic Director, Ensemble Offspring), Lamorna Nightingale (flute/Artistic Director, Backstage Music), Jason Noble (clarinet), Véronique Serret (violin), Blair Harris (cello), Benjamin Kopp (piano/composition), Roland Peelman (piano/conducting/Artistic Director, Canberra International Music Festival), Mindy Meng Wang (guzheng/composition), Bree van Reyk (drums & percussion/composition) and James Henry (guitarist/composer).

Applications for the 2023 Hatched Mentorship Program are now closed.


2023 Lead Mentor: Damien Ricketson

The music of Sydney-based composer Damien Ricketson is characterised by colourful sound-worlds, novel forms and is often multisensory in nature. Damien was the co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of the new music organisation, Ensemble Offspring (1995-2015), and the Program Leader of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2015-2019). Major works have included the immersive show Sound Touch (2022), the experimental opera The Howling Girls (2018) and the hybrid music-dance production The Secret Noise (2014).

Damien is a Sydney-based composer, artistic director and academic. Seeking a music for the body rather than the brain, his work is characterised by unusual instrumentations, open forms and is often multisensory in nature integrating sound with other media.

From 1995-2015 Ricketson was the co-founder and Co-Artistic Director Ensemble Offspring, a unique arts company dedicated to adventurous new music through whom much of his music has been performed. From 2015-2019 he was the Program Leader of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney.

2021-22 Mentor: Tristan Coelho

Tristan Coelho is an award-winning Sydney-based composer who specialises in concert music and film projects. His music draws inspiration largely from either nature, especially the idea of amplifying otherwise soft and delicate sounds, or our digital, data-driven world.

Project highlights include Rhythm City toured by Zubin Kanga in 2019; Smell of the Earth performed by Tambuco Percussion; read/write error commissioned by Ensemble Offspring and finalist in the APRA Art Music Awards; A line is a dot premiered by Claire Edwardes; and an interactive music soundscape walk inspired by the local surrounds of Mount Wilson in the Blue Mountains.

As an active music educator, Tristan has written numerous works for student ensembles and runs creative music workshops around Sydney. He has recently completed a new music education project in collaboration with flautist Lamorna Nightingale titled Other Voices, designed to enhance students’ composition, songwriting and music technology skills.

2019-20 Mentor: Kate Neal

Kate Neal is an artist with over 20 years experience as a composer, arranger, teacher, artistic director and collaborator. Her artistic practice has earned scholarships from the Dutch Government (1998), Accademia Musicale Chigiana (2005), and the Hephzibah Tintner Fellowship (2006), among others, and Neal has enjoyed working as an orchestrator and arranger for many pop and rock bands, feature and independent films, and choreographers and dance companies.

From 2004-2007 she worked as a sessional composition teacher and also lectured in Music and Image at the Victorian College of the Arts, and since 2006 she has been incorporating extra-musical parameters within the notation of a musical score, such as physical gesture, design, light and choreography. In many cases, these works provide a variety of unprecedented collisions of unlikely visual and musical cues. From 2009-2013 Neal was a Graduate Fellow at Princeton University in the USA. In 2013 Neal returned from the US to take a one-year position as Composer in Residence for the Four Winds Festival. In 2015/16 Neal was the recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship, allowing her to compose six substantial new works over two years.

2019 Mentor: Ken Thomson

Embracing the combination of complexity in harmony, rhythm, and form while adding a punk-rock aesthetic, Brooklyn-based Ken Thomson stands alone in his unique corner of today’s multifaceted musical world.

Ken plays clarinet for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, one of the world’s preeminent new music ensembles. He is the musical director for the Asphalt Orchestra, an 8-piece next-generation avant-garde street band. He plays saxophone and is one of the 4 composers in the punk/chamber/jazz band Gutbucket, with whom he toured internationally.

As a composer, Ken has been commissioned by such ensembles as the American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can, the True/False Film Festival, Doug PerkinsMariel Roberts, and others, and has received awards from New Music USA, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, ASCAP and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.  His arrangement of Meredith Monk’s “Downfall” was called one of the “Top 25 Classical Tracks of 2020” by The New York Times.

2018 Mentors: Matthew Shlomowitz, Cathy Milliken & Amanda Cole

Matthew Shlomowitz teaches at University of Southampton, co-directs Plus Minus Ensemble with Mark Knoop and Vicky Wright; and runs the podcast Soundmaking with Håkon Stene.

Cathy Milliken won international recognition as a leading composer, creative director, performer and educational program consultant. Cathy has devised and composed works for theatre, opera, choir, orchestra, chamber ensembles radio and film, and created installations, and was Composer in Association with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 2018-2020.

Amanda Cole is a composer of instrumental and electronic New Music. Her compositions feature microtonal structures, overtones, interference beats and fusions of electronic and acoustic timbres. Amanda has a Bachelor of Music (Hons.1) and a PhD in Composition from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she is now a sessional lecturer in composition.


2023 Hatched Academy Participants

Associate Artist: Abbey Felton (guitar, WA)

Composer Intensive Participants: Isabella Rahme (NSW), Noemi Liba Friedman (VIC), Matthew Laing (VIC), Isabella Gerometta (QLD) and Jessica Lindsay Smith (VIC).

2022 Hatched Academy Participants

Associate Artist: Eliza Shephard (flute, VIC)

Composer Intensive Participants: Lewis Mosley (NSW), Ceridwen McCooey (VIC), Andrea Guterres (NSW), Sean Quinn (VIC), May Lyon (VIC) and Alexander Voltz (QLD). Listen here

Home Academy Mentorships: Brent Keogh (composer, NSW), Katia Geha (composer, NSW), Robert McIntyre (composer, VIC), Paul Nicolaou (harp/composer NSW), Julia Vlahogiannis (composer, NSW), Rob Hao (piano/composer, NSW), Claire Litwinowicz (violin, QLD), Courtney Cousins (composer, NSW), Michelle St Anne (theatre artist/composer, NSW), Tilly Jones (composer, NSW), Ronan Apcar (piano, ACT), Mitch Brown (composer, NSW), Jaidyn Chong (composer, QLD), Naomi Dodd (composer, NSW), Isabella Rahme (composer, NSW) and Samantha Raftery (composer, SA).

2021 Hatched Academy Participants

Associate Artist: Will Hansen (double bass, NSW)

Summer School Composers: Ben Robinson (NSW), Gabrielle Cadenhead (NSW), Julia Potter (NSW), Azariah Felton (WA), Cayn Borthwick (VIC) and William Gardiner (NSW). The 2021 mentor is Tristan Coelho (NSW). Listen here

Home Academy Mentorships: Ceridwen McCooey (composer/cello, VIC), Matthew Kneale (bassoon, VIC), Michael Grebla (composer, WA/USA), Sean Quinn (composer, VIC) Sophia Mackson (viola, QLD), Wesley Stormer (composer, NSW), Bianca Gannon (composer, QLD), Alexei Caulfield (recorder, NSW), Bryn Wood (percussion, NSW), Chloe Chung (flute, NSW), Kayla Ludlow (flute, NSW) and Mikaela Thomsen (percussion, QLD).

2020 Hatched Academy Participants

Associate Artist: Will Hansen (double bass, NSW)

Summer School Composers: Christine Pan (NSW), Rhys Little (NSW), Connor D’Netto (QLD), Andrew Chen (VIC), James Hazel (NSW), Monica Lim VIC). The 2020 mentor is Kate Neal. Listen on Soundcloud

Hatched Home Commission: Simon Charles (WA)

Home Academy Mentorships: Eduardo Ruiz (VIC), Liam Wooding (VIC), Nick Ashwood (NSW), Phoebe Bognàr (NSW), Katherine Howarth (NSW), Nadia Burgess (NSW), Gabrielle Cadenhead (NSW), Lily Bryant (ACT), Christopher Healey (VIC), Anna Rabinowicz (VIC), Liam Mulligan (NSW), Marlene Radice (ACT), Robert McIntyre (VIC), Ellie Harrison (QLD), Abigail Sutherland (SA), Tim Newhouse (WA)

Open Mic: JACHLO: Jacques Emery (double bass) & Chloe Kim (drum kit)

2019 Hatched Academy Participants

Associate Artist: Henry Justo (viola, VIC)

Summer School Composers: Lisa Cheney (VIC), Thomas Misson (VIC), Sarah Elise Thompson (NSW), Lewis Ingham (VIC), Angus Davison (NSW), Dr Steve Barry (NSW)

Open Mic Artists: Niki Johnson (NSW), Will Hansen (NSW), Bianca Gannon (VIC), Elliott Hughes (VIC)

2018 Hatched Academy Participants

Associate Artist: Georgina Oakes (clarinet, NSW)

Summer School Composers: Solomon Frank (NSW), Kirsten Milenko (NSW/NL), Joseph O’Connor (NSW), Jakob Bragg (VIC), Josten Myburgh (WA), Samantha Wolf (VIC)

Open Mic Artists: Naomi Johnson (flute, NSW), Henry Liang (flute, NSW), Freya Schack-Arnott (cello, NSW), Ensemble Onsombl (NSW)

2017 Hatched Academy Participants

Participants: Ciaran Frame (composer, NSW), Jasmin Leung (composer, QLD), Kieran Welch (viola, QLD) and Luke Carbon (clarinet, VIC).

Mentors: Cathy Milliken (composer/mentor) and Jessica Aszodi (vocalist/mentor).

Participants featured in our Hatched Academy 2017 concerts at Sizzle, BackStage Music and The Red Rattler.

2016 Hatched Academy Participants

Participants: Mary Rapp (cello, NSW), Julia Reidy (composer/guitar, NSW), James Bradbury (composer, WA) and David Moran (cello, SA).

In November we held a week-long intensive creative development and rehearsal session at the beautiful Bundanon Estate in Riversdale, in preparation for our new music micro-festival Kontiki Racket.

2015 Hatched Academy Participants

Participants: Dan Thorpe (composer SA), Samuel Smith (composer VIC), Jodie Rottle (flute QLD), Jacob Abela (piano, VIC).

2014 Hatched Academy Participants

Participants: Callum G’Froerer (trumpet), Jeremy Rose (composer/saxophone)