Willow Songs

Date: 26 September 2009 
Venue: Trackdown Scoring Stage, Moore Park

Presented by the New Music Network & Halcyon

Japanese haiku has been a influential poetic form from the 16th century until the present age of twitter-inspired 'twaiku'.  This succinct poetic style responds beautifully to a vocal chamber music setting; each carefully chosen word can inspire fresh musical colours.  Halcyon showcases the talents of composers from around the globe, including Roberto Gerhard, Anne Boyd, Elena Firsova, Colin Matthews and Julian Yu, with a selection of contemporary haiku settings for voice and instruments. The performance culminates in the world premiere of a new song cycle by composer, writer and broadcaster Andrew Ford, on poems by Anglo-American poet Anne Stevenson. Willow Songs is a picture of a woman’s life in reverse, from defiant, outrageous maturity to vulnerable girlhood.

Julian Yu - Four Haiku (1992)                   
Anne Boyd - 3 songs from Cycle of Love (1981)
Elena Firsova - Seven Haiku after Matsuo Basho Op. 47 (1991) ^
Roberto Gerhard - Sept Haiku (1922/58)               
Ton de Leeuw - Song I & III from Haiku: Songs and Interludes for voice and piano (1963)
Colin Matthews - Strugnell’s Haiku (1990)                              
Andrew Ford - Willow Songs  (2009) *
* World premiere  ^ Australian premiere

Mark Shiell  conductor  Alison Morgan  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Sally Walker  flutes   Laura Chislett Jones alto flute  Jason Noble  clarinets  Rie Tamaru  oboe   Gillian Hansen  bassoon  John Douglas  percussion  Stephanie McCallum piano  Sally Whitwell  piano  Steven Meyer  cello  Joseph Littlefield  guitar

Extreme Nature

Date: 7 August 2009
Venue: Verbruggen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

From water choked valleys and scorching winds, to a clandestine romp in nature, two intrepid Australian composers draw inspiration from powerful and confronting texts. Written in response to Australia’s drought and water crisis, Elliott Gyger’s From the Hungry Waiting Country is a beautifully complex work for four female singers and harp, while Nicholas Vines' Torrid Nature Scene for two singers and ensemble delivers a passionate and heady ode to nature. After the performance, meet the composers and celebrate the launch of Halcyon's latest CD Cool Black featuring song cycles by Australian composer Rosalind Page.

Elliott Gyger - From the Hungry Waiting Country (2006)
Nicholas Vines - Torrid Nature Scene (2008) ^
^ Australian premiere

Matthew Coorey  conductor  Alison Morgan  soprano  Lindy Montgomery soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano Jo Burton  mezzo soprano  Sally Walker piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass flute  Euan Harvey  french horn  Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich  violin  Thomas Talmacs  violin  Luke Spicer  viola  Geoffrey Gartner  cello  Genevieve Lang  harp  Claire Edwardes  percussion  Zubin Kanga  piano

Sirens in Armidale for Musica Viva

Date: 1 May 2009  
Venue: Armidale Town Hall

Presented as part of Musica Viva's regional touring program

Dan Walker - King Ludwig’s Swans (2004)                                    
Kerry Andrew - luna-cy (2001)                                                                       
Ross Edwards - The Harp and the Moon (2008)                                                      
Stuart Greenbaum - Three Songs of Sleep (1998/2006)                                               
Gavin Bryars - Laude 7: Ave regina gloriosa from Laude Cortonese (2002-2004) [AP]
Kerry Andrew - The Song of Doves (2006) [AP]                                                                                  
Ruth Lee Martin - Fairie Lover and Good Wish from Carmina Gaedelica (1999)       
Stuart Greenbaum - Nine Candles for Dark Nights (2006)                                            
Kerry Andrew - ojo (2004/7) [AP]                                                                                   
Graham Hair - O Venezia (2004)     
[AP] Australian Premiere                                                                        
Alison Morgan soprano Belinda Montgomery soprano Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano Jo Burton mezzo soprano Genevieve Lang harp

Halcyon at Government House

Date: 19 April 2009
Venue: Government House, Sydney

Halcyon has been delighting audiences for a decade with exciting and sophisticated performances of contemporary vocal chamber music. Artistic directors Alison Morgan and Jenny Duck-Chong join with three of Australia’s most esteemed artists in an intimate program of rarely heard musical gems from around the globe, inspired by poets Anna Akhmatova, Christina Rossetti and Aguedo Pizarro.

Claire Jordan - Memory (2001)      
John Corigliano - Three Irish Folksongs Settings (1988)     
Libby Larsen - Liebeslied & Do you know? from Beloved, thou hast brought me flowers (1994) 
John Tavener  Akhmatova Songs (1993)
Ross Edwards - Maninya I (1981, rev.1985)                    
Oliver Knussen - When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer from Whitman Settings (1991)   
Joseph Schwantner - Black Anemones from Two Songs of Agueda Pizarro (1980)
Anne Boyd - Cycle of Love (1981)            

Alison Morgan  soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Laura Chislett Jones   flutes
Patrick Murphy  cello  Sally Whitwell  piano

Walk to the Field of Stars

Date: 9 April 2009
Venue: Melbourne Recital Centre

Presented by the Melbourne Recital Centre

Projections by Allan Chawner

Damien Ricketson - In God's Esperanto (2007)
Based on the poem Spranto Lost by Christopher Wallace-Crabbe
Steve Reich - Music for Pieces of Wood (1973)
Peter Sculthorpe - Threnody for solo cello
Steve Reich - Tehillim for voices and ensemble (1981)

Halcyon: Alison Morgan  soprano  Belinda Montgomery  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Jo Burton  mezzo soprano

Ensemble Offspring: Sally Walker & Lamorna Nightingale  flute  Diana Springford & Jason Noble  clarinet   Ngaire de Korte & Shefali Prior  oboe  Rob Llewellyn  bassoon  Sally Whitwell & Clemens Leske  organ  James Cuddeford, Emma West, Maria Lindsay, Sophie Cole  violin  James Eccles & Nicole Forsyth  viola  Pat Murphy & Geoff Gartner  cello  Mardi Chillingworth  double bass
Percussionists: Guy du Blet, Timothy Constable, Eugene Ughetti, Vanessa Tomlinson, Rob Cossom, Evan Pritchard

Conductor: Roland Peelman



Date: 17 October 2008
Venue: Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Presented in association with New Music Network  

Gavin Bryars - The Adnan Songbook (1996)
George Benjamin - Upon Silence (1990/91)
Nigel Butterley - Orphei Mysteria (World Premiere)

Mark Shiell  conductor  Alison Morgan soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Sally Walker  piccolo/flute/alto flute  Diana Springford  clarinets  David Papp oboe/ cor anglais  Giuseppe Zangari guitars  Victoria Jacono violin  Nicole Forsyth  viola  Luke Spicer viola  Robert Jackson cello  Steve Meyer cello Julia Ryder cello  Mardi Chillingworth double bass  Jenny Druery double bass

Broadcast by ABC Classic FM Monday 29 June 2009, 8.00pm    

Halcyon - Celebrating 10 Years

Date: 6 September 2008
Venue: SCEGGS Great Hall

One of Sydney’s most exciting new music ensembles, Halcyon acknowledges ten years of dedicated music-making by revisiting their very first performance with Sydney Alpha Ensemble in February 1998 in its original venue. Artistic directors and performers Jenny Duck-Chong (mezzo soprano) and Alison Morgan (soprano) will be joined by many of the original artists including conductor Antony Walker, soprano Jane Sheldon, pianist Stephanie McCallum, mandolin player Paul Hooper and percussionists Daryl Pratt & Philip South.  As well as a showcase of excerpts from Halcyon events over the past decade, Halcyon will ‘replay’ two of the most loved and masterly works of the 20th century, George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children and Luciano Berio’s Folksongs, both showstoppers on that first unforgettable night.

Andrew - luna-cy
Andrew - plum & cherry from fruit songs
Claire Jordan - Promises like Pie-Crust & Echo from Memory
Damien Ricketson - excerpt from Seven relics 
Katy Abbott - Night thoughts from It is Just the Heart
Saariaho - Miranda's lament from The Tempest Songbook
Denisov - Archipel des Songes 
Crumb - Ancient Voices of Children 
Berio - Folksongs

Antony Walker  conductor  Alison Morgan  soprano  Jane Sheldon  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong   mezzo soprano  Laura Chislett Jones  flutes  Steven Meyer  flute  Diana Springford  clarinet   Ngaire de Korte   oboe  Veronique Serret  violin  Mirabai Peart  violin  Nicole Forsyth  viola   Julia Ryder  cello  Jennifer Druery  double bass  Stephen Lalor  mandolin  Janet Agostino  guitar   Alice Giles  harp  Daryl Pratt  percussion  Claire Edwardes  percussion  Jeremy Barnett  percussion  Stephanie McCallum  piano  Sally Whitwell  piano

Broadcast by ABC Classic FM Saturday 1 Nov 2008, 8.00pm

Aurora Festival 2008

April 12 2008 Campbelltown Arts Centre
Direct broadcast on ABC Classic FM 8pm

Chinary Ung - Aura ^
Gavin Bryars - Laude 17 & 29 ^
Ross Edwards - Maninya I
Michael Atherton - Of Stone and Silence *
* World premiere   ^ Australian premiere

Roland Peelman  conductor  Alison Morgan  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Steven Meyer  flute/piccolo/alto flute  David Papp  oboe/cor anglais  Jason Noble  clarinet/bass clarinet  Claire Edwardes  percussion  Sophie Cole  violin  Thomas Talmacs  violin  Nicole Forsyth  viola  Susan Ung viola  Julia Ryder  cello  Adrian Wallis  cello  Mardi Chillingworth  double bass

April 18   Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
April 20   Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith

Steve Reich  Daniel Variations (Australian premiere)

Sydney Conservatorium of Music  Modern Music Ensemble, dir. Daryl Pratt
Halcyon: Alison Morgan  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano Andrei Laptev and Dan Walker tenors

Broadcast by ABC Classic FM Tuesday 22 April 2008 8pm

Four Winds Festival

March 21-22 2008 Bermagui


Steve Reich  Tehillim
Ross Edwards  Mantras and Alleluyahs [WP]
Vivaldi  Gloria (original version for female voices)

* World premiere commissioned for the Four Winds Festival

Alison Morgan, Belinda Montgomery sopranos
Jenny Duck-Chong, Jo Burton mezzo sopranos
with Four Winds Philharmonia conducted by Roland Peelman & Synergy Percussion

Lily on a Black Wave

Date: 6 October 2007
Venue: Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

LILY ON A BLACK WAVE - modern composers interpret Shakespeare

“On the calm, black wave where the stars sleep
White Ophelia floats like a great lily,
Floats slowly, slowly, slumbering in her long winding veils...”

The character of Ophelia from Shakespeare’s ominous play Hamlet has floated her way into the modern world, inspiring creative artists as diverse as Rimbaud, T.S. Eliot, Berlioz, Nick Cave and The Grateful Dead. Award-winning ensemble Halcyon premieres a new work, Ophelie, by Australian composer Kevin March together with modern musical settings from Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets by Stravinsky, Saariaho and Adès. Come and experience all the drama and passion inherent in the words of this famous bard, distilled into its musical essence.  

Andrew Ford - Snatches of Old Lauds from Hamlet (2002)
Igor Stravinsky - Three Songs to Shakespeare (1953)
Sally Beamish - Sonnet (1986/1998) ^
Tom James - Ophelia (2004) ^
Kevin March - Ophelie (2007) *
Juori Kaipainen - Sonnet 43 op. 43 (1994) ^
Kataryzna Glowicka - Summer's Day Sonnets (2000 rev.2004) ^
Thomas Ades - Court Studies from The Tempest (2005) ^
Andrew Ford - Epithalamium (1991) *
Evelyn Ficarra - Full Fathom Five (2002) from Submarine ^
Saariaho - The Tempest Songbook (1993-2004) ^
1. Prospero’s Vision 2. Miranda's Lament 3. Caliban's Dream 4. Ariel's Hail 5. Ferdinand's Comfort
* World Premiere  ^ Australian Premiere

Mark Shiell conductor, Alison Morgan soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Mark Donnelly baritone, Steve Meyer flute, Diana Springford clarinet, Veronique Serrett violin, Thomas Talmacs violin, Nicole Forsyth viola, Danny Yeadon cello, Paul Hooper mandolin, Raffaele Agostino guitar, Clare McDonogh harp, Sally Whitwell piano, Claire Edwardes percussion, Jenny Druery double bass.

Broadcast by ABC Classic FM Wednesday 3 June 2009, 8.00pm

Tehillim - Halcyon, Synergy Percussion & Ensemble Offspring

Date: 4 August 2007
Venue: City Recital Hall, Angel Place

Date: 11 August 2007
Venue: Riverside Theatres Parramatta

Presented in collaboration with ABC Classic FM

Internationally renowned percussion ensemble, Synergy Percussion, joins forces with Halcyon and Ensemble Offspring to present Steve Reich’s seminal work for large ensemble, Tehillim.  This driving, inspirational piece, sung in ancient Hebrew and based on biblical psalms, forms the centrepiece of a program that explores all possible combinations of the three ensembles. Steve Reich, one of the leading composers of the minimalist style, has embraced not only aspects of Western Classical music, but also the structures, harmonies, and rhythms of non-Western and American music, particularly jazz. "There's just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history and Steve Reich is one of them," states The Guardian (London).

Other works on this truly international program are:
Ligeti (Hungary) - Sippal, dobbal, nádihegeduvel, mezzo soprano & percussion ensemble
Vivier (French Canada) - Bouchara, for soprano & ensemble
Damien Ricketson (Australia) – world premiere of a new work for glass percussion and ensemble

Ensemble Offspring and Halcyon are two of the most dynamic ensembles to have recently emerged in Sydney’s contemporary music scene.  Their collaboration with Synergy Percussion, whose career spans a 33-year history of performances both in Australia and overseas, will provide audiences with an opportunity to sample a wide range of musical styles and above all to experience an engaging and uplifting performance of music for voice, percussion and instrumentalists.

Steve Reich - Tehillim for large ensemble (1981)
Georgy Ligeti - Sippal, dobbal, nádihegeduvelmezzo soprano & percussion ensemble (2000) ^
Claude Vivier - Bouchara, for soprano & ensemble (1981)
Damien Ricketson - No More Than Liquid, for percussion and ensemble (2007) *
* World Premiere  ^ Australian Premiere

Synergy Percussion, Halcyon & Ensemble Offspring

Roland Peelman conductor, Alison Morgan soprano, Belinda Montgomery soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo-soprano, Jo Burton mezzo-soprano, Lamorna Nightingale flute, Sally Walker flute, Ngaire de Korte oboe, Shefali Prior oboe, Jason Noble clarinet, Diana Springford clarinet, Rob Lllewellyn bassoon, Zubin Kanga keyboard, Sally Whitwell keyboard, Veronique Serret violin, Sophie Cole violin, Nicole Forsyth viola, Geoffrey Gartner cello, Lauren Brandon double bass, Claire Edwardes percussion, Adam Jeffrey percussion, Timothy Constable percussion, Bree van Reyk percussion, Michael Askill percussion, Jess Ciampa percussion

Recorded by ABC Classic FM for International broadcast
Broadcast by ABC Classic FM Friday 18 January 2008 8pm


Date: 27 September 2006
Venue: Trackdown Scoring Stage

Katy Abbott - No Ordinary Traveller [WP]
Unsuk Chin - Akrostichon-Wortspiel [AP]
Katarzyna Glowicka - Opalescence [WP]
Andrew Robbie - The Change [WP]
WP – World premiere AP – Australian premiere

Mark Shiell conductor  Alison Morgan soprano Jane Sheldon soprano Belinda Montgomery soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano Amanda Cole live electronics  Laura Chislett Jones flutes  Steve Meyer flutespercussion Ngaire de Korte oboe Diana Springford clarinets  Jeremy Barnett percussion Verna Brown harp Paul Hooper mandolin Sally Whitwell piano Sophie Cole violin Nicole Forsyth viola Patrick Murphy cello Damien Eckersley double bass

Star Clusters - Halcyon & Flinders Quartet

Date: 17 August 2006
Venue: St John’s Southgate, Melbourne
Broadcast by ABC Classic FM Wednesday 30 May 2007 8pm

Date: 20 August 2006
Venue: Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Presented in association with the New Music Network

Peter Sculthorpe - Irkanda IV
Earl Kim - Three Poems in French
Katy Abbott - It is Just the Heart [WP]
Gillian Whitehead - Bright Forms Return
Somei Satoh - Hōma  
WP – World premiere

Halcyon: Alison Morgan soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzs-zoprano
Flinders Quartet: Erica Kennedy, Matthew Tomkins, Helen Ireland, Zoë Knighton

Broadcast by ABC Classic FM Wednesday 30 May 2007 8pm

Nga Harenga

Date: 31 May 2006
Venue: Trackdown Scoring Stage

Steve Reich - Know What is Above You
Andrew Ford - The Armed Man
Ross Harris - Sleep O Beloved
Gillian Whitehead - Nga Haerenga

Alison Morgan  soprano  Belinda Montgomery  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Jo Burton mezzo soprano  Claire Edwardes  percussion  Peter Lamb  narrator

Sirens at the Aurora Festival

Date: 7 May 2006
Venue: St Bartholomew’s, Prospect

Dan Walker - King Ludwig’s Swans
Elliott Gyger - From the hungry waiting country [WP]
Kerry Andrew - luna-cy
Stuart Greenbaum - Three Songs of Sleep
Graham Hair - O Venezia Part I
Steve Reich - Know What is Above You [AP] 
WP – world premiere performance AP – Australian premiere   

Alison Morgan, Belinda Montgomery sopranos Jenny Duck-Chong, Jo Burton mezzo sopranos Genevieve Lang harp

Broadcast by ABC Classic FM Tue 9th May, 8.00pm
Also featured as part of I Love Raft Auras (Aurora Festival Remix) 21 May 2006   

Tone Birds

Date: 29 October 2005
Venue: Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Presented in collaboration with the New Music Network

Manuel de Falla - Psyché 
Oliver Messiaen - Poèmes pour Mi Book 1
Michael Berkeley - Winter Fragments ^
Rosalind Page - Hrafnsöngvar (Ravensongs) * 
Kaija Saariaho - Grammaire des Rêves
* World Premiere  ^ Australian premiere

Mark Shiell conductor  Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano  Alison Morgan soprano  Steven Meyer flute/piccolo  Laura Chislett Jones flute/piccolo/alto flute  Anna Rodger oboe/cor anglais  Diana Springford clarinet/bass clarinet  Sophie Cole violin  Thomas Talmacs viola  Julia Ryder cello  Sally Whitwell celeste, Nord Lead 3  Clemens Leske piano  Marshall McGuire harp

Sirens in Melbourne

22 September 2005 St John’s Southgate Melbourne

Michael Finnissy  O quam glorifica luce from Three Motets
Ross Edwards  Maninya V
Ross Harris  Sleep, O Beloved   
Michael Finnissy  Videtis enim interiorem from Three Motets
Somei Satoh  The Heavenly Spheres are Illuminated by Lights
Michael Finnissy  Iam mea certa manent [WP]
Graham Hair Five Senses [WP]

WP – world premiere

Halcyon: Alison Morgan & Belinda Montgomery sopranos  Jenny Duck-Chong & Jo Burton mezzo sopranos 
Victorian String Quartet: Miwako Abe  First violin   Aaron Barnden Second violin   Paul McMillan Viola Zoe Knighton Cello  
Peter Neville percussion Josephine Allan piano

Recorded for future broadcast by ABC Classic FM

Butterley 70th Birthday Festival - Halcyon & Ensemble Offspring

Date: 3 September 2005
Venue: Music Workshop Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Halcyon & Ensemble Offspring
Presented by the New Music Network

Nigel Butterley - Carmina:  Four Latin Poems of Spring
Olivier Messiaen - Le merle noir
Nigel Butterley - Three Whitman Songs [WP]
Priaulx Rainier - Quanta
Nigel Butterley - The White-throated Warbler
Michael Tippett - Songs for Ariel
Jonathan Harvey - Song Offerings
WP – world premiere

Roland Peelman  conductor  Alison Morgan  soprano Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano
Michael Sitsky  flute  Linda Walsh  oboe  Diana Springford  clarinet  Matthew Ockenden  bassoon
Saul Lewis  horn  Sophie Cole  violin   Veronique Serret  violin   Thomas Talmacs  viola
Geoffrey Gartner  cello   Jenny Druery  double bass  Sally Whitwell  piano   Kerry Yong  piano

Broadcast on ABC Classic FM on Thursday 15 September 2005 8pm

Floof - Halcyon & Ensemble Offspring

Date: July 1 2005
Venue: Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Michael Finnissy - Springtime (2003)
Nigel Butterley - Carmina: Four Latin Poems (1968 rev. 1990)
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Floof: Songs of a Homeostatic Homer (1998/90)^
Simone East - The Voice of the Shuttle (2005)•
Claude Vivier - Bouchara (1981)^

* world premiere  ^ Australian premiere

Roland Peelman  conductor/ipiano Alison Morgan  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano  Michael Sitsky flute Jason Noble  clarinet  Diana Springford  clarinet  Linda Walsh  oboe  Matthew Ockenden bassoon Saul Lewis  horn  Zubin Kanga  piano  Sally Whitwell  synthesiser  Claire Edwardes  percussion  Veronique Serret  violin  Thomas Talmacs  violin Nicole Forsyth  viola  Geoffrey Gartner  cello  Andrew Meisel double bass

Broadcast on ABC Classic FM on 23 November 2005