In Nature

Image: ‘Cymatic Flower’ by Linden Gledhill

Halcyon has been performing stellar programs for twenty one years, full of rare and eclectic works from Australia and around the globe. They have commissioned, premiered and presented more than 250 works from over 15 countries, developed long relationships with composers and institutions both here and abroad and featured ever-changing combinations of more than a hundred seasoned and emerging chamber music performers in intimate settings. While every concert is a fresh experience, the consistent craftsmanship and careful curation of each event remains a hallmark.

In Nature, on October 12 at 8pm, is no exception and definitely one not to miss!  The program features four world premieres by Larry Sitsky, Elena Kats Chernin, Melissa Hui and Madeleine Isaksson, the Australian premiere of Andrew Ford’s new song cycle, Nature and Matthew Hindson’s engaging Insect Songs, (also featured on our latest EP release Waves IV)

The works, drawn from three continents and relationships old and new, feature texts and poetry from Australia, the UK, Finland, Sweden, France, Japan and China.  Jenny will be joined by a fantastic line up of artists: flautist Sally Walker, cellist Geoffrey Gartner, guitarist Vladimir Gorbach, percussionist Tim Brigden with tabla player Maharshi Raval and soprano Jane Sheldon.  

Andrew Ford’s new song cycle Nature, is a delicately wrought and thoughtful exploration of the natural world.  The composer has drawn together eight diverse texts to create a through-composed work of great sensitivity. The unusual palette of instruments - flute, cello, guitar, tabla, percussion and voice - creates subtle shades of colour that draw you deeply into his imaginings.  Co-commissioned for Halcyon and soloists and ensembles in Stockholm, Oslo and Dublin, it premiered in Sweden earlier this month. Together with renowned tabla player Maharshi Raval, Halcyon will present the Australian premiere before further European performances in October and November.  

Commissioned by flautist Sally Walker and dedicated to Dr Philip Spradbery, the renowned entomologist, CSIRO scientist and passionate environmental advocate, Elena Kats-Chernin’s Moondust is a wordless reverie for voice, flute, cello and vibraphone; drones and gently mesmerising melodies interweaving over shimmering percussive chords.

Soprano Jane Sheldon joins Halcyon for the premiere of Swedish-born French-resident Madeleine Isaksson’s Blad över blad. Written to a bilingual poem of the composer’s own devising, this is another piece of subtle colouration which blurs the line between voice and instrument,  the two languages and three instruments branching across each other continually so, in the composer’s words, their timbres ‘melt together’.

Canadian composer Melissa Hui’s works featured in Halcyon’s very first concert series in 2001. For the concert, she has transformed two of her aptly named songs - Snowflakes and Nature - for Halcyon, adapting them into chamber works for voice, flute, cello, guitar and vibraphone, giving both composer and performer the opportunity to reconnect with them and each other after so many years.

Larry Sitsky, whose extraordinary song cycle, A Feast of Lanterns II features on Halcyon’s latest release, Waves IV and who celebrated his 85th birthday this month, is featured in a brief and soulful duo, The Bamboo Flute, composed recently for Jenny and flautist Sally Walker.  

With outstanding works by Matthew Hindson, Hilary Tann, Nigel Butterley and Cathy Milliken also on the program, don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in another fantastic evening with Halcyon. 

Date: Saturday 12 October at 8pm
Venue: Summer Hill Church, 2 Henson St Summer Hill
Tickets: $40/25 through


Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo-soprano, artistic director
Jane Sheldon soprano
Sally Walker flutes
Geoffrey Gartner cello
Vladimir Gorbach guitar
Tim Brigden percussion
Maharshi Raval tabla

Extended Play

Date: 31st August 2019
Time: 4.15pm
Venue: City Recital Hall

All day Festival Pass only $35 (+ booking fees) Buy here

Halcyon appears as part of this exciting 12-hour festival of new music in an intimate program of duo works for Jenny with guitarist Vladimir Gorbach and cellist Geoffrey Gartner at 4.15pm. Works by Matthew Hindson, Kerry Andrew, Ross Edwards, Moya Henderson, Julian Yu, Cathy Milliken and Michael Berkeley. Read more here

Jenny will also appear with Geist Quartet for Kammerklang in The Art of Disappearing at 12.15pm.

City Recital Hall presents
Extended Play

Co-produced with Lyle Chan and Vexations840

Extended Play is back in 2019 with over 20 concerts of eclectic, contemporary, challenging and dynamic new music across the entire four floors of the venue in 12 hours! The inaugural event last year was hailed as “the best new classical music initiative Sydney has seen in years” (The Australian), and an “exhilarating festival, wonderfully supportive of local artists and ensembles, emerging talent and an audience eager to engage.” (Real Time).

If you missed out on Extended Play last year, this is your chance to be part of something truly special in the Sydney music scene; and if you have been before, you know you can’t possibly resist coming back.


The Art of Disappearing

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Date: 1 June
Time: 8pm
Venue: Annandale Creative Arts Centre, 81 Johnston St, Annandale


Join Halcyon and the Geist String Quartet for the world premiere of The Art of Disappearing, a poignant new song cycle by Sydney composer, Cameron Lam inspired by the raw and profound poetry of Queensland writer Sarah Holland-Batt.

The composer writes, "Written for and dedicated to mezzo soprano Jenny Duck-Chong after years of mentorship and friendship, The Art of Disappearing is an hour-long song cycle for voice and string quartet. I was drawn to the poetry of Queensland writer, Sarah Holland-Batt for its intimacy, musicality, and immense sense of self. The striking thing about Sarah’s poetry for me, was that it was arresting, it stopped me in my tracks – it sang all by itself and I just wanted to add to that.”

Limelight Magazine has described Cameron’s music as “a fantastical world in which mythological stories comes to life”. But drawn to the raw and profound poetry from Sarah’s collection Aria, in this new work he has set aside mythic grandeur and has delved deep into the traditions of art song and string quartet repertoire in search of a work of intimate connections. These eight songs and four instrumentals together tell stories of reminiscence, loss and grief through time. The cycle doesn’t present loss as something to solve; instead, it paints the inexorable journey from stasis, as we learn to move again…

Halcyon first worked with Cameron back in 2010 in his Kammerklang VOX project and we are looking forward to this opportunity to present a very beautiful new work created and crafted especially for us.  Though we recorded the work last year, this is the first time we will be performing the full work in front of a live audience.

Join us for The Art of Disappearing.

Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo-soprano
Geist String Quartet: Sonia Wilson violin I, Mia Stanton violin II, Hayasa Tanaka viola, James Larsen violoncello


$35/$25 through Halcyon

Read more about the project on Kammerklang’s website or the facebook event page

The evening will also be official launch of two digital albums: The Art of Disappearing, Cameron’s fifth solo album release, on Kammerklang’s 10th anniversary and Waves IV, the latest of Halcyon’s self-releases featuring significant works by Larry Sitsky, Ross Edwards and Matthew Hindson.

Image: Luke Moseley

Image: Luke Moseley

Photo:  Linden Gledhill  Design: Liz Duck-Chong

Photo: Linden Gledhill Design: Liz Duck-Chong

Shining Shores

DATE: 1 December
TIME: 8pm
VENUE: Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Celebrating 20 years of performing, promoting, recording and curating new music, Halcyon’s last program for 2018, Shining Shores, collects together pieces inspired by the natural elements of water and moonlight. Taking time to reflect on the world around us, we wander beside the flowing Seine in Rosalind Page’s Apollinairesongs, are transfixed by the minute life in rockpools or towering mountains reflected across the bay in Gordon Kerry’s Three Malouf Songs and walk in the wet sand beside the seashore, following the lark’s song or a boat adrift on the tide, in Gillian Whitehead’s Girl with a Guitar. The night sky appears - ‘the sleepy stretch and dazzle of it’ ablaze with stars ‘like bees’ - and the changing moon is ‘like an apricot’, ‘honeyed’ or ‘silvering shores’.

In our 20th anniversary year, this program again features composers of outstanding vocal music with a deep responsivenes for the poetry that inspires them, many of whom have had long associations with Halcyon. Works have been drawn from Australia (Rosalind Page, Gordon Kerry, Sadie Harrison, Ross Edwards), New Zealand (Gillian Whitehead) and the UK and USA (Hilary Tann and Robert Lombardo) and the program sees the return of a two signifcant and quintessentially Halcyon works, Rosalind Page’s Apollinairesongs (2002) and Gordon Kerry’s Three Malouf Songs (2016).

On December 1, come and experience again the magic of Halcyon in performance and the artistry refined over 20 years of musical exploration.


Rosalind Page Apollinairesongs (2002)
Hilary Tann Winter Sun, Summer Rain (1986) ^
Gilian Whitehead Girl with a Guitar (2000) ^
Gordon Kerry Three Malouf settings (2015)
and shorter works by Ross Edwards, Sadie Harrison ^ and Robert Lombardo ^

^ Australian Premiere

Elizabeth Scott conductor Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo-soprano Laura Chislett flute Jason Noble clarinet Anna McMichael violin
Nicole Forsyth viola Geoffrey Gartner cello Daniel Herscovitch piano/celeste

$40/$25 through Classikon

Image: Linden Gledhill



A New Way of Looking at Music
Presented by Halcyon and Artsite Galleries

Date: 9 Sept 2018
Time: 3.30pm
Venue: Artsite Galleries, Camperdown

Halcyon is celebrating the start of Spring by trying out something new this September. We’re scaling things down to their barest form and offering a very intimate experience of music and visual art

Contemporary arts often look to find new connections across art forms.  A recent article about one such crossover of music and visual art at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival concludes:

“Contemporary art was no longer either audible or visual: it was simply art.”

The intersection between visual art and music has always been part of Halcyon’s history. Our logos, concert programs and album covers have regularly featured a wide array of local and international artists and photographers such as Catherine AbelRobert BoynesLorenzo CortellettiLinden Gledhill and Richard Woldendorp.

art:music is our latest experiment.  With the support of Artsite Galleries, we wanted to create a more informal space for people to experience contemporary art - to let you engage with the music and the visual artworks in your own ways - perhaps sitting and watching with focused intent, moving around the space or just listening in and reflecting on the visual works on display while enjoying a complimentary glass of wine and nibbles. 

The performance will feature Jenny and flautist Sally Walker presenting a short program of contemporary works predominantly by Australian composers, in conjunction with the art exhibition From the Blue House by contemporary Australian artist Victoria Peel.  

Performed in two short sets, with time to wander in between, this informal afternoon is the perfect place to invite someone to get a taste of some small-scale new music in an intimate setting. While we will give occasional insights into the works being performed, there are no rules of concert etiquette to be observed and we hope that you will simply enter the space with expectation and curiosity. 

The performance starts at 3.30pm, but feel free to come anytime from 3pm to pick up a glass of wine and take some time to look around the gallery before it begins.  If you have an artistically curious friends, now’s your chance to bring them along to this low key event and share in an afternoon of contemporary art.

Gillian Whitehead Because of the child (2013)
Claude Debussy Syrinx (1913)
Brad Taylor-Newling Ombrone (2014)
Larry Sitsky The Jade Flute from Two Li-Po Settings (1973/2016)
Robert Lombardo At Parting Now, Harvest Moon from Three Haiku (c. 2000) [AP]
Andrew Ford “Once upon a time there were two brothers…” (2013)
Elliott Gyger Unfractured Light from giving voice (2012)

[AP] Australian premiere

Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Sally Walker flute/alto flute/piccolo

All tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the store here but as there are limited numbers they MUST BE PRE-BOOKED. Sales will close on Saturday 8th at midday and there will be NO tickets available at the door

A New Way of Looking at Music

Sunday 9th September at 3.30pm
Artsite Galleries
165 Salisbury Rd Camperdown
For directions to the gallery click here

Artsite is an Independent Australian Contemporary Art Gallery dedicated to promoting exemplary local and Australian artist practices.  Read more about the gallery

artsite galleries logo

This Kind of Life

Date: 21 July 2018
Time: 8pm
Venue: Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

As Halcyon celebrates 20 years of exceptional music-making, come and join us for a midwinter evening of intriguing and eclectic new chamber music. 

The program features Australian premieres by mid-career composers Japanese-born Dai Fujikura and Belgian Annelies Van Parys alongside a couple of songs from our Kingfisher project and a brand new work by Elliott Gyger, celebrating his 50th birthday this year. 

Halcyon’s long and fruitful relationship with composer Elliott Gyger, spanning more than three decades, has produced a series of outstanding vocal works.  Beginning with From the hungry waiting country in 2006 (commissioned for Halcyon by the first Aurora Festival) through giving voice (winner of the 2013 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Award) to Un poilu australien in 2015 (for our War Letters project), these pieces have been some of the most challenging and rewarding works in Halcyon's repertoire. Each one is a tour-de-force for both performers and composer, as Elliott descirbes here:

From the hungry waiting country (2006) weaves together fifteen texts – seven in English, eight in ancient languages – each sung by a different soloist or subset from its female vocal quartet; at times two or three texts are superimposed, working in independent tempi.  Petit Testament (2008), by contrast, comes as close as possible to multitracking a single voice in live performance; Jenny and Alison are called upon to play vocal hide-and-seek with one another, merging into a single line featuring unison, heterophony and interior dialogue."

This year as the ensemble and composer both celebrate significant milestones, it seemed the perfect time to join forces again.  

"This kind of life (2018) is written once again for Alison and Jenny’s voices, but rather than blending and blurring they are kept quite distinct, as they sing the words of two people in dialogue with one another.  Each is supported by her own miniature ensemble of two instruments (clarinet and piano with the soprano; cello and harp with the mezzo), although as the work progresses these ensembles begin to overlap and fuse. 
A musical celebration of friendship, This kind of life seems an apt choice for a program highlighting the rich network of collaborations that has developed across Halcyon’s 20-year history – a network which I am grateful and proud to be part of.

Elliott Gyger This Kind of Life  WORLD PREMIERE
Dai Fujikura  Being as One  AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE
Annaliese Van Parys  Three Mew Poems  AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE
Ross Edwards The Tranquil Mind
Rosalind Page Aquila’s Wing

Alison Morgan soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo-soprano,  Laura Chislett flute, David Rowden clarinet, Georgina Oakes bass clarinet, Geoffrey Gartner cello, Jo Allan piano, Rowan Phemister harp

Tickets $35/$25 through Classikon

Image: Linden Gledhill

A Child of Earth and Heaven - Halcyon & Inventi Ensemble

Date: 15 November 2017
Venue: Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre

Presented in collaboration with Inventi Ensemble and Melbourne Recital Centre

A Child of Earth and Heaven celebrates two generations of Australian vocal writing, showcasing works by award-winning composers Nigel Butterley and Elliott Gyger inspired by childhood and the natural world.

In an all-new collaboration, drawing together renowned performers from around the country, Inventi Ensemble (Melbourne) and Halcyon (Sydney) with guest conductor Matthew Wood (Darwin) present two intriguing song cycles for voice and chamber ensemble.

Gyger’s Paul Lowin Award winning composition, giving voice (2013), is an intimate exploration of the theme of early childhood. With diverse texts drawn from eight female Australian writers including his own daughter Sophia, giving voiceencapsulates a roller-coaster of emotions – such as fear, wonder, joy and frustration – in eight highly individual songs. Drawing inspiration from the Orpheus myth, Butterley’s Orphei Mysteria (2008) is a work of great beauty whose subtlety painted colours bring forth a richly evocative soundscape and show a master craftsman at the height of his powers.

Elliott Gyger - giving voice (2013)
Nigel Butterley - Orphei Mysteria (2008)

Matthew Wood  conductor  Alison Morgan  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Vladimir Gorbach  guitar  Inventi Ensemble

The Fire In Which We Burn

Date: 10 October 2017
Venue: Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Presented by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

The fire in which we burn is an all-Australasian program featuring works by Ross Edwards, Sadie Harrison, Tim Dargaville and Gillian Whitehead with texts that span two centuries, seven countries, and the complete cycle of seasons.  By reflecting on the cycles by which we live, we gain a glimpse of the turning wheels of history seeing ourselves mirrored in the shifting backdrop of the natural world.

Sadie Harrison’s With what does winter’s summer’s sing takes us on a journey through the seasonal patterns of nature and love, interspersing them with a series of exaltant ‘calling' songs, reminding us of those moments of joy in the midst of the passing of time. An Australian composer who has been resident in the UK for many years, her song cycle speaks of how the passing of time resonates with our own cycles of love and loss. This has been a common poetic conceit for centuries, with Spring heralding new love and Winter marking the coldness of a dying relationship, or a life which is at an end. Her texts draw on both ancient and modern literature in English translation, creating a fresh vernacular for words that span centuries.

Ross Edward’s Five Senses is inspired by the poetry of Judith Wright, renowned not only as a poet but as an environmental activist. Every poem’s images are so clearly drawn - from the fiery wheel of creation, the ageless columns of dark foreboding rainforest or the delicate dew-encrusted spider webs, right down to the individual flowers on the forest floor. At times ominous and mysterious or exuberantly joyful, it is a celebration of the Australian landscape and the capacity it has to touch us and inhabit our senses.

Gillian Whitehead’s Because of the child, a short unaccompanied song, was composed for a group of people keen to raise awareness of environmental issues and draws our attention to the role man plays in his environment. She spends time between both Australia and New Zealand, and the many natural and cultural references in her life are clearly present in her prodigious body of work.

Tim Dargaville’s Kolam, movement III for solo piano is inspired by the ancient art of Kolam, an art of symmetry, precision, and complexity, where circular patterns of geometric lines are created on the ground using curved lines and dots and drawn with powder made from rice and other natural materials. Often drawn by women at the threshold to the house, throughout the day the drawings get walked on, washed out in the rain, or blown around in the wind only to be re-made the following day. This intricate art reflects both the movement and constant nature of time, but also the renewal it will always bring.

Sadie Harrison - with what do winter’s summers sing? (2004)
Tim Dargaville - Kolam, Movement III (2014)
Brad Taylor-Newling - Ombrone (2014)
Ross Edwards - Five Senses: Five Poems of Judith Wright (2012)

Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo-soprano, Bernadette Harvey piano, Joshua Hill percussion

Image: Linden Gledhill

The Poet's Voice

Date: 10 September 2016
Venue: St Bede's Anglican Church, Drummoyne

“A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate; it goes on to become.”
— W.H. Auden

Each art has a language of its own that can ’speak’ to us. Poetry can resonant within us, its chosen words honed into crystallised form. Music, wordless, can stir, move, shake or provoke us.  In song, these two powerful languages are synthesised, the poet’s and the composer’s voices intertwining, shining new light on the words while drawing out fresh musical ideas. Yet no one song or poem speaks in the same way to us all; our responses are as diverse as our human experience.

The songs and cycles in The Poet’s Voice are the work of contemporary Australian composers, inspired by Australian poets and writers, who explore their shared understanding of our world, our environment and our everyday life with works spanning a period of almost 50 years. Captured moments of simple lives often have a surprising depth when words and music combine; love letters and clotheslines, birds and birth, gazing in rockpools or at mountain ranges.  Alongside songs by Margaret Sutherland, Brett Dean, Elliott Gyger and Katy Abbott Kvasnica are the words of Judith Wright, Michael Leunig, the fictional Ern Malley and Christopher Wallace-Crabbe.  Andrew Schultz is both poet and composer in his recent song cycle Paradise, setting his own words to music.

Roger Smalley's Piano Trio (1991), commissioned for the 1st Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and still one of his most popular and recorded works, acknowledges the anniversary of the composer’s death in 2015.  Inspired not by words, but by the music of another composer, this tour-de-force piece is one of several that Smalley wrote based on Chopin's Mazurkas. 

Gordon Kerry is renowned for both his words and music.  He is an author and experienced music journalist and the composer of vocal works of many forms: among them operas, choral works and chamber songs (including a work for Halcyon’s 2013 Kingfisher project).  The Poet's Voice will feature the world premiere of his new work Three Malouf Songs (2015).  Commissioned by John and Denise Elkins, the piece celebrates a place of special significance to them - the Glasshouse Mountains.  Kerry's own love of the Australian bush and the beach drew him to three poems by David Malouf -  Stars, Rockpools and Glasshouse Mountains.  With his sensitivity to text and ear for delicate sonorities, Kerry has created a substantial through-composed chamber work for mezzo, violin, cello and piano.

Gordon Kerry - Three Malouf Songs*
Andrew Schultz - Paradise (2013)
Roger Smalley - Piano Trio (1991)
Elliott Gyger - Petit Testament (2008)
* World Premiere

Katy Abbott Kvasnica - The Domestic Sublime Part 1
Margaret Sutherland - Woman's Song, Midnight and Winter Kestrel from Six Songs: Settings of Judith Wright
Brett Dean - Literature & A Child is a Grub from Poems and Prayers


Of Earth and Stars

Date: 16 April 2016
Venue: St Bedes Anglican Church

Halcyon begins the year with an intimate program featuring the sonorous and captivating combination of voice and cello. 
In Of Earth and Stars long-time collaborators Jenny Duck-Chong and Geoffrey Gartner present a program of duos and solos spanning four decades and three continents. 
You will be introduced to gems by Julian Yu, Moya Henderson, Martin Wesley-Smith, Sadie Harrison, Brad Taylor-Newling, Simon Holt and Michael Berkeley, and to celebrate Alberto Ginastera's centenary year there will be a special performance of the composer's tour-de-force for solo cello, Puneña No. 2.

Martin Wesley-Smith -  Uluru Song (1993)
Sadie Harrison -  Aster I and Aster II from Aster (1995 rev. .2014)
Michael Berkeley -  Typewriter Music (2014) 
Brad Taylor-Newling -  Ombrone (2014) & Stars (2014)
Alberto Ginastera -  Puneña No. 2 (1976) 
Julian Yu -  Three Haiku (1987)
Moya Henderson -  I Lost A World The Other Day (2014)  
Simon Holt -  Three songs from Six Caprices (1998)

Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Geoffrey Gartner  cello

War Letters

Date: 7 November 2015
Venue: Ku-ring-gai Town Hall

War Letters commemorates through music, the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and women in the First World War during the ANZAC centenary. Four Australian composers, representing four generations, have taken excerpts from original letters written during times of conflict, and set the words to music for singers and ensemble. The letters are filled with both hope and despair, offering deep insight into life for all involved in the war zone, but especially for family and friends receiving and sending them. War Letters explores this interface between letter writing and music, bringing into focus the day to day experiences of the men and women taken up by war.

Diana Blom - Triptych (war letters) *
Elliott Gyger - Un poilu australien *
Nicole Murphy - 'Dearest Mother...' *
Larry Sitsky - Letter from the trenches *
* World premiere

Alison Morgan  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Clive Birch  bass  James Wannan  viola  Kaylie Dunstan  percussion Jo Allan  piano

The Cavalcade of History and Fashion will present a display, Home Front Keepsakes and Nurses Uniforms at the concert.

The project was made possible through funding received from the Australian Government's ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program with support from the University of Western Sydney.


DATE: 17 September
TIME: 1pm
VENUE: Io Myers Studio, University of New South Wales Kensington Campus


Halcyon presents a captivating chamber music program for voice, cello and piano by Australian composers Andrew Schultz and Rosalind Page. Includes the Australian premiere of Schultz' Paradise and Prelude and Postscript. 


Andrew Schultz To the evening star, Opus 80 (2009)
Rosalind Page Being and Time III: Paradiso (2015) for cello and dice
Andrew Schultz Prelude and Postscript, Opus 100, No. 1 (2015) for piano
Andrew Schultz Paradise, Opus 95 (2013) for soprano, cello and piano

Alison Morgan soprano Geoffrey Gartner cello Jo Allan piano

This is a FREE event


DATE: 15th September
TIME: 6pm
VENUE: Wyselaskie Auditorium, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music


Part of the Guitar Perspectives series

Ken Murray (guitar) and Jenny Duck-Chong (mezzo soprano) present a recital of Australian songs written for voice and guitar over the past three decades.


Christine MCCOMBE Halcyon (1994)
John PETERSON Three songs from Of Quiet Places (1998)
Elena Kats-Chernin Purple Patch (1998)
Andrew SCHULTZ Three songs from Ditties (1983)
Helen GIFFORD Spell Against Sorrow (2003)
Kerry Andrew Two songs from fruit songs (2001-2)
Matthew HINDSON Insect Songs (1998)

Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano Ken Murray guitar

This is a FREE event

Winter Moon Secrets

Date: 4 September 2015
Venue: Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Presented in collaboration with the New Music Network

Asian culture has captivated the artistic mind for centuries; the elegance and concise restraint of Oriental visual art, music and writing have been an ongoing inspiration for composers around the globe. Winter Moon Secrets brings together chamber music inspired by a world behind closed doors, where courtly life, love and secrets form the centrepiece of existence, a place where inner thoughts remain concealed, whispered only to the night air or written on a page in a private room.

In Andrew Schultz's I am writing in this book (2011), fragments of 10th century writer Sei Shonagon's The Pillow Book have been threaded together to trace the life of a young woman from naive youth to old age. Sohmon III (1988), by eminent Japanese composer Minoru Miki, sets poetry from the oldest anthology of Japanese poetry, the Man'Yoshi (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) dated from the seventh and eight centuries. Miki believes that music and culture are deeply intertwined and that peace between nations can be achieved through the blending of diverse cultures. Larry Sitsky's newly penned work A Feast of Lanterns II (2015) draws texts from a collection of ancient Chinese poets and writers, employing voice and instruments to render delicate brushstrokes of colour. Joining Halcyon for this program is koto virtuoso Satsuki Odamura, performing solo works composed for her by Australians Ross Edwards and Rosalind Page. 


Ross Edwards  Interlude from Koto Dreaming (2003)
Minoru Miki     Sohmon III (1988)
Larry Sitsky     A Feast of Lanterns II: 7 Songs from Chinese Sources (2015) (WP)
Rosalind Page Garden  (2006)
Andrew Schultz    I am writing in this book Op. 88 (2011)



Luke Spicer  conductor  Alison Morgan  soprano  Jenny Duck-Chong  mezzo soprano  Ewan Foster  violin  Anna Martin-Scrase  cello  Jenny Druery  double bass Rowan Phemister  harp  Sally Whitwell  piano  William Jackson  percussion  Satsuki Odamura  koto

A Rhythm That Dances: A celebration of the music of Ross Edwards

Date: 13 June 2015
Venue: Recital Hall East, Sydney Conservatoirum of Music

Presented by Halcyon in partnership with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music


Inspired by a deep love for the Australian natural environment, the music of Ross Edwards radiates both joyous exuberance and meditative reflection. A Rhythm that Dances celebrates these twin aspects of his writing. Showcasing works spanning almost 40 years, this retrospective program focuses on Edwards’ music in miniature and features solo performances by some of Australia’s leading contemporary musicians. The concert is also a rare opportunity to hear his two major song cycles, The Hermit of Green Light (1979) and Five Senses (2013), as well as Maninya I  for voice and cello, which is an early example of his celebrated ‘dance-chant’ style and an inspiration for his violin concerto, Maninyas. Also on the program is his Piano Sonata(2011), commissioned by the Conservatorium for Bernadette Harvey, who recently gave the US premiere.

Water Spirit Song (2003)
Hermit of Green Light (1979)
Marimba Dances (1982)
Piano Sonata (2011)
Maninya I (1981)
Selections from Mantras and Night Flowers (2001)
Prelude and Laughing Rock (2003)
Five senses (2012)

Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano  Bernadette Harvey piano  Claire Edwardes percussion  Geoffrey Gartner cello