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Peer responses

What to say about Halcyon? An impossible task I think, but here goes: The elegant and intelligently constructed programs of local and international works; the always high level of excellence they bring to their performances; the close working relationships with composers and the new work developed from these; the many emerging composers who have honed their skills and benefited by the rich knowledge and experience, the intuition, and above all, the care, that Halcyon have invested in their composer development activities; and the legacy that is represented by the impressive list of works commissioned and premiered by Halcyon. We have been blessed by what they have brought to the art that they make, and salute them for their passion, their courage, and their grace!

John Davis, General Manager, Australian Music Centre

It was a huge privilege to be part of the early Halcyon years and an equal pleasure to see how Jenny, Alison and all who have contributed to the ensemble over the years have helped create one of the most innovative and successful new music ensembles in the country. A particular thank you for all you have done to assist the development and support of Australian contemporary music and for giving these compositions such a wondrous platform on which to be heard. 

Matthew Wood, conductor

Working with you has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my musical life.  To be thoroughly engaged in music making with musicians who care so deeply about what they are doing and who take the time to look into the detail, meaning, communication of every work they present has been a wonderful experience. 

Mark Shiell, conductor

I would like to express my thanks to Alison and Jenny for inviting me to perform with them over the past 10+ years. Each concert has been an adventure, a journey of discovery, revelation and realisation, a blending of musical minds (composers, performers and conductors) to create vibrant music, music that breathes, evolves and endures. We are indeed fortunate in Sydney to have two such passionate, generous, musical and entrepreneurial personalities.

Laura Chislett Jones, flautist

Halcyon is a group that has delivered such richness to the Australian New Music community through countless commissions, premieres and your unique, thoughtful presentation. I have had the privilege of having performed many projects with you, on anything within the flute family ranging from C flute to Ocarina! Particularly memorable for me was collaborating in Andrew Ford's "Willow Songs", Claude Vivier's "Bouchara" and of course Steve Reich's "Tehillim". I am grateful for these experiences, working with both of you and also the special instrumentalists you choose.

Sally Walker, flautist

Thank you for more than fifteen years of beautiful contributions to Australian musical life; you've created a unique repertoire and performing tradition.  Those of us lucky enough to hear you and work with you continue to be enriched by the experience. 

Elliott Gyger, composer

 Few contemporary music groups survive for so long nor can boast such an awesome contribution to their nation's creative life as Halcyon.

Anne Boyd, composer

Dear Halcyon, I wish I could have been there with you when you performed my 'Opalescence' and 'Summer's day", but I'm happy that some of my friends were there. A big cold ocean is separating us today, but I hope one day we could meet and celebrate your fantastic craft. The distance has not prevented you from looking over to the other parts of the world for your repertoire, and for that I am very, very grateful. Keep up the work you are doing. You are truly unique, not only in Australia, but in the world. 

Kasia Glowicka, composer

 

Peer responses

Audience responses

Audience responses

"A brilliant concert! Moved to tears by Paradise, thrilled by Smalley's piano trio and utterly entertained by the whole second half, this was impressive programming from start to finish. An inspiring evening. Congratulations and thank you!"
(facebook post-concert post for The Poet's Voice)

"The concert was, once again, another evening of superbly evocative and transporting music. Halcyon truly is without peer in Australia and deserves to be recognised as such. Not only is your work conveying something special and so worth experiencing; but you are also offering a new way of looking at this land. The choice of works was excellent."

"I was so impressed by the programming, the preparation, the sound in the space, and everyone's commitment to the music.
The level of ensemble and refinement meant that each composer's work seemed to be shown in its best light and with a great sense of clarity, which made my ears receptive to each different style and idiom.
Thank you and Congratulations!"

"We loved the concert … beautiful singing, beautiful music and excellent programming!"

"We love discovering new music and hearing it so well performed made it one of the highlights of the year for us so far."

"The Benjamin in particular was great - I don't think today's SMH review went far enough! - completely enthralling (and chillingly so). Congratulations on yet another fine performance."

"Congratulations on the fantastic review, well deserved (and honestly no surprise) given the fantastic concert.   Cunningham summed up my feelings when she said you make your audiences want more.  Every time is a treat and makes me look forward to the next."

"You really are terrific at what you do and so vital for this music scene here in Oz."

"Congrats again on last week - you were amazing!"

"This is a bit under the radar, but Synergy's performance on Saturday night was extraordinary. It's a "new music" (sort of avant classical) piece that's intellectually demanding to listen to and incredibly complex, and the musicians and singers showed mind-blowing virtuosity. It was something special."
(from an online blog about Tehillim at Angel Place Recital Hall)

"Thank you so much for Saturday’s performance! I enjoyed all of the performances, but the standouts of the night were the Ligeti and Reich for me. I’ve always wanted to hear Tehillim live. Thank you for an amazing night."

"It was remarkable, wonder-filled evening of such great music. Certainly, THE place to be in town that night. And it was terrific to see such a response from the audience – so well deserved."

"Thankyou for the inspiring and oft times unusual music; new to our ears."

“Great programming, lovely music and beautiful performances. Our friends, who are pretty uncertain about anything after Mozart, went home with their feet 3 feet off the ground.”

"It was fantastic fantastic – what a way to present new music. I thought your use of the stage space as an ensemble particularly clever – especially in the final piece where you sang surrounded by the ensemble. The Butterly was excellent as well, and Floof! should be seen and heard by all!"

""I really loved your performance of the Butterley - very eloquent! And Floof is I think my favourite bit of new music that I've heard this year. What an amazing feat in pulling that off!
Congrats again for such great programming and performances."

“Congratulations on a magnificent concert the other night here in Melbourne! It was a joy to hear such exciting programming, and such superb singing and playing. I was expecting exceptionally-high performance standards, and I was not disappointed! Fabulous singing, playing, ensemble work, communication. Many thanks for such a wonderful concert - it is inspiring to hear such wonderful music-making."

“Thank you all for such a thrilling performance at the Conservatorium last night. It was a splendidly structured concert, beautifully balanced, with the very thoughtful selection of works magnificently performed. It was my first experience of Halcyon and I was completely enthralled.”

"Congratulations to you and your Halcyon colleagues for a wonderful night of singing and music.   Thanks to you I am beginning to appreciate the emotional and technical excitement of modern compositions.   You sounded terrific, and looked gorgeous."

"What a great evening-- it's amazing how much music you guys put together!!  Some really outstanding stuff."

“It was a wonderful concert. One of those rare events that went beyond enjoyment: all of us felt changed by the music.”

“Thank you for what ranked as one of the best contemporary music concerts I've been to in a long, long while. Not only was the repertoire interesting and engaging, but each of your performances was both riveting and highly personal.”

“Heard Halcyon for the first time today on ABC RN The Music Show and just loved everything.”

  "Thankyou for the inspiring and oft times unusual music; new to our ears."

“Great programming, lovely music and beautiful performances. Our friends, who are pretty uncertain about anything after Mozart, went home with their feet 3 feet off the ground.”

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