Ensemble Offspring – Ngarra-Burria


Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre in partnership with Australian Music Centre


‘To listen, to sing’

‘Ngarra-Burria’ are Dharug words meaning ‘to listen, to sing’. Initiated in 2016 by Indigenous composer Christopher Sainsbury, the Ngarra-Burria: First Peoples Composers program exists to support and mentor emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander composers.

Ensemble Offspring’s performance in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall as part of New Music Days 2023 presents an ambitious First Nations showcase of new music, featuring an astonishing array of new and established voices.

About the concert

Focusing on the emergence of First Nations composers in the classical music landscape, the program features notable composers Rhyan Clapham aka DOBBY, Brenda Gifford, James Henry, Aaron Wyatt, Eric Avery, Nardi Simpson and Mark Ross, curated by Chris Sainsbury and Claire Edwardes. A joyous evening of ambitious and ground-breaking music not to be missed.

Post-Concert Talk

Please join Claire Edwardes, James Henry and Chris Sainsbury for a post-concert talk.

Ngarra-Burria is a partnership between the ANU School of Music, Mooghalin Arts, Ensemble Offspring and Australian Music Centre

New Music Days is generously supported by the Robert Salzer Foundation.

Praise for Ngarra-Burria

‘It’s an Indigenous-led change to the Australian classical and new music sectors that enriches us all.’ Christopher Sainsbury

‘18 tracks of diverse pieces by a dozen composers, including four women, are spread across 72 minutes. The sheer diversity of styles, some incorporating jazz, percussion, repetitive and vocal elements, ensures variety and attraction. In fragments of melodies and rhythms, its origins are barely hinted at, indicating the success of this visionary project. 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.’ ABC Classic ★★★★½

COVID Safety

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Ensemble Offspring
Claire Edwardes Artistic Director, percussion
Sonya Holowell voice
Lamorna Nightingale flutes
Jason Noble clarinets
Alexandra Osborne violin
Rowena Macneish cello
Roland Peelman piano
Maria Moles drums


Brenda Gifford

Nardi Simpson
Wilga’s Last Dance

Troy Russell
Nucoorilma (The Apple Tree)

Rhyan Clapham
Pitara Yaan Murawariki

Nardi Simpson
Of Stars and Birds

Aaron Wyatt

Eric Avery
Wind (Of Ancestors)

Eric Avery

Nardi Simpson
Burruguu (Time of Creation)

Troy Russell
Tenseri per mano (to hold hands)

James Henry
Zoom Meeting

Mark Ross
Streets of Sydney

Brenda Gifford

Rhyan Clapham
Talk to Me I’m Listening