Halcyon – A Child of Earth and Heaven

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 nature.

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Halcyon is a highly acclaimed singer-directed ensemble specialising in vocal chamber music in Australia with a long track record for innovative programming and high calibre performance.

For nineteen years, Halcyon has drawn together a wealth of performers of excellence and introduced audiences to these richly varied, but rarely heard, pieces. In November Halcyon will be collaborating for the first time with Inventi Ensemble in Melbourne alongside conductor Matthew Wood to stage two masterful song cycles by composers Nigel Butterley and Elliott Gyger.

These two Halcyon-commissioned works, Orphei Mysteria and giving voice, have both been recognized as outstanding examples of contemporary writing, and short-listed for the prestigious Paul Lowin Song Cycle prize, as highly commended and winning works respectively. But neither has yet been staged in Melbourne. In order to bring these intimate works to a Melbourne audience and to foster a greater community amongst like-minded ensembles, Halcyon and Inventi will co-present this program in November with the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Your donation will go towards payments of artists fees, travel and other concert related expenses to allow us to share this music with a wider audience and help grow relationships between interstate ensembles as we bring this music to life together.

Use the links below to find out more about artists and composers.

Nigel Butterley
Elliott Gyger

To read more about the concert: www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/2017/a-child-of-earth-and-heaven.

To listen to an extract of Butterley’s Orphei Mysteria: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG48Ej_adt4&t=6s







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Regarded as a leading exponent in the field of new music, Halcyon presents stunning performances of vocal chamber music from around the world, with a special emphasis on Australian composition. Directed by mezzo soprano Jenny Duck-Chong, Halcyon has showcased many rarely heard international works and premiered new offerings from some of Australia’s most esteemed composers. Since 1998 these ‘new music champions’ have performed on grand and small stages, in grand houses, art galleries, recital halls, at music industry events and music festivals, collaborating with numerous outstanding artists and ensembles and forging connections across the globe with composers, music centres and institutions.

Beyond the concert stage, as mentors Halcyon has presented concerts and workshops focusing on vocal writing and contemporary Australian song repertoire to composition and vocal students at the secondary and tertiary level in NSW, Canberra and Victoria. Since 2006, Halcyon has also produced a series of studio recordings, showcasing Australian composers and commissions, to make this intimate music accessible to a wider audience. Recent CDs include their self-released EP’s Waves I and Waves II and Kingfisher – Songs for Halcyon.


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