“An injection of warmth and colour with new and recent pieces influenced by, and depicting, birdsong and nature all expertly played with energy and commitment.” – Roger Heaton, Tempo Magazine, UK

Claire Edwardes Percussion
Lamorna Nightingale Flutes
Jason Noble Clarinets

Ensemble Offspring is a group of Australia’s most innovative and virtuosic instrumentalists. Led by acclaimed percussionist Claire Edwardes and joined by flute and clarinet in this program, the group celebrates living composers from emerging to established, female to First Nations, and puts Australian composers front and centre! Ensemble Offspring create adventurous musical experiences that stimulate the senses and pique curiosity, and their concerts are famous for their engaging blend of light-hearted banter and seriously excellent musicianship.

Over its 25-year history, Ensemble Offspring has commissioned and premiered over 300 new works. Most recently they were nominated for an ARIA Award for their ABC album Classic Kids: Music For The Dreaming and were recipients of the 2019 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award. Before COVID-19 they were touring the world and now you can hear one of Australia’s most unique ensembles championing the music of our time, in your own backyard!

“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

Direct from sold out Sydney Festival shows and performances around Australia, experience this intimate chamber performance of Ensemble Offspring’s ABC Classic ‘Songbirds' repertory in your own backyard. This program features an array of original chamber works by nature’s own composers (butcherbirds, blackbirds, lorikeets, frogs and flamingos) with a little help from eight Australian composers and three Ensemble Offspring instrumentalists. The familiar calls and songs of these beautiful creatures morph into surprising and beguiling chamber jewels for flute, clarinet and percussion. All of the works have been written by some of Australia’s leading composers especially for the members of Ensemble Offspring.

After many seasons spent listening and recording in Central Australia, Hollis Taylor brings us the song of the pied butcher bird in Bitter Springs Creek 2014, while Kate Moore takes the liquid melodies of the European blackbird and intertwines alto flute, bass clarinet and vibraphone in an intricate counterpoint. Fiona Loader’s Lorikeet Corroboree is an upbeat, punchy work which weaves the crazy chatter of Australia’s rainbow lorikeets in with some older, ground-dwelling composers, with fragments from Papageno’s magic flute, Vaughan Williams’ the Lark Ascending and the scintillating sound world of Messiaen. Meanwhile Gerard Brophy makes flamingos dance and humming birds buzz in his brand new 3 movement tour-de-force Beautiful Birds. And don’t miss the return of the otherworldly sounds of Claire’s unique waterphone, live, in its natural habitat. 

Brenda Gifford Mungala
Nardi Simpson Of Stars and Birds
Felicity Wilcox Yurabirong
Kate Moore Blackbird Song
Fiona Loader Lorikeet Corroboree
Hollis Taylor/Jon Rose Bitter Springs Creek 2014
Claire Edwardes Screechers & Sorrows
Gerard Brophy Beautiful Birds

Format: 70 minutes no interval or 2 x 45 minute halves


Technical Specifications

Please download Ensemble Offspring: Songbirds technical specifications here


Ensemble Offspring are available for a range of workshops and engagement activites, including:

  • Instrumental masterclasses for woodwind and percussion and
  • Improvisation workshops with young artists and community members on different techniques to make music together using voices, instruments and body percussion


Throughout 2022. Please contact Musica Viva for further details.

Book Artist

Travel to centres in regional NSW is subsidised through the support of Create NSW. Musica Viva can book the artists, arrange all travel and accommodation, provide posters, flyers and program information.
If you are interested in bringing an ensemble to your town or city, please contact:

Sean Moloney

Manager, Special Projects & Regional Touring