Trumpet and Guitar music in Albania and Kosovo 2024

Following on from Alan Holley’s music visits to Albania in 2016, with the legendary Sydney Symphony Orchestra trumpeter Paul Goodchild and again in 2019, Alan, and the director of the International Albanian Brass Festival, Ilir Kodhima, approached trumpeter Joel Brennan and guitarist Ken Murray to visit both Albania and Kosovo to perform and to work with students at the Arts Universities in Tirana and Pristina.  As well as being superb performers both Joel and Ken are teaching professors at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music.

The program was designed to showcase new works from Australia, Albania and Kosovo. Four Albanian composers, Enis Mullaj, Eriona Rushiti, Kris Sopiqoti and Jetmir Zagonjari, two composers from Kosovo, and Australian composers Johanna Selleck, Ken Murray and Alan Holley wrote new works for this cross continent project.

At the first concert a full house greeted the performers in the Hall of the University of Arts, Tirana where Joel and Ken in association with the pianist Ana Kaçinari enthralled the audience with music that was virtuosic or hypnotizing and always captivating. The support of the University and the attendance of so many professors was inspiring.

After an incredibly scenic drive through the hills of Albania and Kosovo the concert organized by the Dam Festival at the Barabar Centre in central Pristina added two local composers, Avni Krasniqi and Kreshnik Aliçkaj. Joel performed Trio by Avni with Ilir Kodhima (horn) and Aleksandar Ninic (tuba) and Joel and Ken played Kreshnik’s Viotar.

Again the full house audience’s enthusiasm shows how dynamic the new music scene is in southern Europe. Joel and Ken and Alan said it was lovely to represent Australia in this wonderful part of the world and to share so many different musical experiences.

Tirana composers at concert

Composers and performers after the Tirana concert for the IABF May 29. Great promotion due to Ilir Kodhima and big thanks to the Universiteti i Arteve, Tirane.


Joel Brennan and Ken Murray in Tirana concert


Joel and Ken in concert in Pristina


Joel & Ana Kaçinari play for Andrea by Eriona Rushiti


Ilir Kodhima, Aleksandar Ninic and Joel Brennan rehearsal in Pristina


Joel and Ken interview in Kosovo






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Croatia 2024

Varaždin Concert in Croatia 2024

Under the inspired direction of Tamara Jurkić Sviben and Hrvoje Pintaric and organised by and supported by the  Koncertni ured Varaždin, the Australian Embassy in Croatia and Media Club Europe, a portrait concert of eight works by Alan Holley was performed in the university city of Varaždin on May 22, 2024.  Alan said that ‘I have never had so many works in a single concert before and what a way to start my 70th birthday celebration year. Stunning performances all round and lovely to receive several European premieres.’

With works ranging from solos to duos to the European premiere of the brass quintet, The Goodchild Canzonas, pianists Tamara Jurkić Sviben and Ivan Batoš, hornist Hrvoje Pintarić, trumpeters Marko Bobičanec and Daniel Modrić, trombonist Ivan Mučić and the Podium Brass Quintet performed to a most enthusiastic audience.

The concert included Blue Triangle, Forgotten Clouds, Still Road, Piano Sonata, Water Pieces, Water Preludes, Heron Creek and The Goodchild Canzonas.

Earlier that day Alan gave a lecture at University North and led discussions with Professor Ivan Batoš, Dr Martina Mičija, and Dr Tamara Jurkić Sviben. Alan commented on how the students were so interested in music from the southern hemisphere.

Tamara Jurkić Sviben with Hrvoje Pintarić

Varazdin concert performers

Tamara Jurkić Sviben

Ivan Mučić







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9th Edition International Albanian Brass Festival 2024

For the 9th Edition of the International Albanian Brass Festival two of Australia’s greatest musicians, Joel Brennan and Ken Murray, will present works by composers from Albania, Australia and Kosovo. There are two recitals, one in Tirana (May 29) and the other in Pristina (May 30). HAMMERINGS RECORDS is proud to be associated with the IABF under the direction of Ilir Kodhima.


Joel Brennan – Trumpet (Australia)

Joel Brennan

Joel Brennan enjoys a diverse career as a performer and teacher. He has performed with orchestras around the globe, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Australia), Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (Korea), Rotterdam Philharmonic (Netherlands), Winnipeg Symphony (Canada), Malaysian Philharmonic, and Bilkent Symphony Orchestra (Turkey), and has served as principal trumpet of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra (Japan) and Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra (Netherlands). A proponent of contemporary music and chamber music, Joel has commissioned and premiered dozens of new works, with a particular emphasis on working with emerging composers and those from underrepresented demographics. He is a member of Ensemble Three, a unique trio of trumpet, trombone, and guitar which has been praised as “an inspiring example of forward-thinking classical music culture” and won the 2017 Melbourne Recital Centre Contemporary Masters Award. He is also a member of Lyrebird Brass, a collective of players dedicated to performing the finest brass chamber music. Joel received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music before pursuing graduate studies at the Yale School of Music from which he is a recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Awarded a Fulbright Grant 2007, Joel spent a year performing, teaching, and studying in the Netherlands. Deeply devoted to education, Joel is Associate Professor of Music Performance at Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (University of Melbourne, Australia). He has also served on the faculty of Brandon University (Canada) and the Juilliard School’s campus in Tianjin (China) where he worked with students in the pre-college program and graduate school in addition to performing with the Tianjin Juilliard Ensemble. He has been a guest teaching artist at the Australasian Trumpet Academy, Danish/German Brass Academy, and Oberlin Trumpet Workshop. He is the creator of “Poper’s Game,” a unique practice app for trumpet players. Joel is a Yamaha Performing Artist.


Ken Murray – Guitar (Australia)

Ken Murray

Ken Murray has forged a distinctive career as a guitarist, blending elements of performance, composition, teaching, and research. His focus encompasses a dedication to showcasing and recording Spanish music from the early 20th century, collaborating extensively with contemporary composers, and actively engaging in the performance of Brazilian and South American musical genres. In his role as a composer, Murray has crafted a diverse array of compositions for solo guitar and ensemble settings. Demonstrating a dedication to contemporary music, he has participated in premiere performances of over 100 works, collaborating with composers such as Stephen Goss, Dai Fujikura, Leilehua Lanzilotti, Christopher Sainsbury, Katy Abbott, Stuart Greenbaum, and Melody Eötvös. His enduring partnerships involve ongoing collaborations with composers who have created pieces across various genres, including solo guitar, electric guitar and CD, electric guitar and ensemble, guitar and voice, large chamber works, and music theatre compositions featuring the guitar. Murray’s performances and recordings have received recognition on platforms such as ABC FM and international labels like Kairos (Italy), Mode Records (USA), Move, Tall Poppies, and ABC Classics. Murray’s compositions have been performed by guitarists such as Slava Grigoryan, Alex Tsiboulski, Vladimir Gorbach, Tengyue Zhang and Ziggy and Miles Johnston. Guitar ensembles including the Riverside Guitar Ensemble directed by Karin Schaupp have performed his music. Ken’s solo piece Free Range was selected as the set work for the Adelaide Guitar Festival competition in 2020. His pieces are represented in the Australian Music Examinations Board syllabus and his music has been performed in Europe, Asia and throughout Australia. Murray is an integral part of Ensemble Three, alongside Joel Brennan (trumpet) and Don Immel (trombone). Their performances, both in Australia and abroad, reflect a commitment to commissioning new works and contribute to an expanding catalogue of recordings. Ensemble Three has established itself as “an inspiring example of forward-thinking classical music culture in Australia” (CutCommon).


Alan Holley – Composer (Australia)

Composer Alan Holley

In recent years Sydney born composer Alan Holley (b.1954) has been a featured composer at numerous music festivals and received composer profile concerts in Croatia, Serbia, Albania and Australia. The trumpet concerto Doppler’s Web (2005) written for soloist Paul Goodchild, A Line of Stars (2007) and A Shaft of Light (2015) for oboe and orchestra with Shefali Pryor as soloist were commissioned and performed in the Concert Hall of the Opera House by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Loaded with Dream (2011) was commissioned by the Sydney Symphony for performance by the Fellows. In 2018 And the rain received numerous performances by the Australian Chamber Choir in Victoria and Sydney. This choir then commissioned and performed Time Passages in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and England on their 2019 tours. Three major chamber works were premiered in Melbourne in 2022 – Lyrebird Brass premiered his Goodchild Canzonas, a brass quintet, in the Hanson Dyer Hall and the Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC), Ensemble Three premiered All Demons Run for trumpet, trombone and electric guitar in the MRC, and In Fire Season, a trio composed during the horrendous bushfires in Australia in 2020 was premiered by Johanna Selleck, alto flute, Peter Sheridan, bass flute and Danae Killian, piano.
His works are now published by Kookaburra Music and recorded on HAMMERINGS RECORDS.


Works selected for this festival are Diggings by Enis Mullaj, Kris Sopoqoti’s Echoes, Jetmir Zaganjori’s Amidst the Peaks, Spiel by Johanna Selleck, Andrián Pertout’s Una per Ornette, works by Ken Murray, Kreshnik Aliçkaj’s Viotar, for Andrea by Eriona Rushiti and Sorrel & Fallen Light by Alan Holley.

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Tamara Jurkić Sviben Sydney concert

Hammerings Records was delighted to host a truly wonderful concert of Croatian and Australian piano works performed by the impeccable musician, Tamara Jurkić Sviben, who also enthralled the audience with a brief history of Croatian piano music over the last two centuries.

A recital of Croatian and Australian piano works

Fern Street Gallery, Pymble

12 February, 2024


Ivan pl. Zajc (1832-1914)

Dora Pejačević (1885-1923)
Nocturnos op. 50 No. 1&2

Božidar Kunc (1903-1964)

Juraj Stahuljak (1901-1975)
Spider’s Morning Song

Alan Holley (b.1954)
From Water Preludes
Preludium No. 3

Ivana Lang (1912-1982)
From Seven Sketches for piano op. 56
Esperance No. 5
Novel Elan No.6
Desire Realise No. 7

Blagoje Bersa (1873-1934)

Alan Holley
Water pieces for piano

Žiga Hirschler (1894-1941)

Boris Papandopulo (1906-1991)
Play for piano from opera ‘Sunčanica’


Tamara Jurkić Sviben, Croatian pianist and scientist, graduated in the class of Jurica Murai and received her Masters degree in the class of Vladimir Krpan at the University of Zagreb Music Academy (Croatia). She has performed as a solo pianist and chamber musician at various Croatian festivals with a repertoire that ranges from the classical period to the contemporary music. After obtaining the Rector’s Award of the University of Zagreb in 1995, she started her international career with the concert performed in the UNESCO palace Concert Hall in Paris in the same year. This was followed by outstanding performances at the Slavic Music Festival in Paris, the Teen Murti Auditorium in New Delhi (India), the “Two Nights & Two Days of Modern Music” festival in Odessa (Ukraine), as well as by numerous concerts in Albania, Portugal, Greece, Austria, The Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ukraine, Spain, Israel, Iceland, Poland, Canada, France, Lithuania, Czech, Romania, India and Australia.

During her early academic studies Professor Murai and subsequently Professor Krpan instigated her interest and love for Croatian composer, and this led Tamara to research and promote composers of her homeland. She actively performs concerts in the public diplomacy programs of the Republic of Croatia for Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Republic of Croatia, promoting Croatian musical heritage and culture. She is recording for the Croatian Radio, Croatian labels Croatia Records and Cantus and Australian label Hammerings records.

Her love for the Croatian musical heritage and mostly forgotten Croatian composers has directed her further interests towards researching Croatian composers of Jewish origin and their contribution to Croatian culture and musical heritage. This research has resulted in PhD degree in Croatology being awarded in 2016 in the Faculty of Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb. Her thesis is entitled Musicians of Jewish Origin in Northern Croatia from 1815 to 1941.

She is an assistant professor at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Teacher Education, engaged in interdisciplinary research in music, language and culture, an active member of the Croatian Society of Music Artists and Croatian Musicological Society, the vice-president of the Croatian Music Institute and music department head at Matica hrvatska.

HAMMERINGS RECORDS and Tamara Jurkić Sviben thank John Edmonds for his support of this recital.


At Fern Street Gallery


Tamara Jurkic Sviben


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Andrian Pertout 60th birthday concert

A concert to celebrate the 60th birthday of the internationally acclaimed Melbourne-based composer, Andrian Pertout.

Sunday August 13, 2023 at 5pm
Church Street Studios, 62-68 Church St, Camperdown 2050 

$40/$30 concession


Sirius Chamber Ensemble and friends/Georgina Oakes – clarinet, Melissa Coleman – flute, Alison Evans – bassoon, Sumiko Yamamura – piano, Harriet Channon – trumpet & Gregory van der Struik – trombone

Andrian Pertout – La Vita Nuova for clarinet and piano*
Andrian Pertout – La variazione enigmatica for solo trumpet
Alan Holley – Cloud Rim for flute and piano
Andrian Pertout – Assente in uno stato di flusso for solo trombone
Johanna Selleck – Starlight for solo flute
Andrian Pertout – To the Beloved for trumpet and piano*
Johanna Selleck – Zest for trombone and piano*
Andrian Pertout – Samakramikata (Synchronicity) for flute, clarinet, bassoon and piano*
Alan Holley – Morpheus for clarinet and piano
* world premiere

To celebrate an important composer colleague who is having a big birthday the only thing to do is to put on a concert, or two, and play their music.  Andrian Pertout is well known in Melbourne and all over South America, in Asia and Europe and now Sydney can hear why I think he is that rare voice in Australian music, a truly innovative voice with the ability to write music full of colour and drama.


Andrian Pertout with Alan Holley

Andrian Pertout with Alan Holley of Hammerings Records


Hammerings Records has assembled a wonderful group of performers all expert in new music and Johanna Selleck and I are so proud to be part of this special birthday event.
If you cannot attend this recital there is a lunchtime concert of some of the works at St Stephens Church, Sydney on Friday 11th at 1.10pm

In Celebration of the 60th birthday of Andrian Pertout
August 11, 1.10pm St Stephen’s, Macquarie St., Sydney
Georgina Oakes – clarinet
Melissa Coleman – flute
Sumiko Yamamura – piano
Harriet Channon – trumpet


Andrian Pertout – La Vita Nuova for clarinet and pianoforte
Andrian Pertout – La variazione enigmatica for trumpet
Alan Holley – Cloud Rim for flute and piano
Johanna Selleck – Starlight for solo flute
Andrian Pertout – To the Beloved for trumpet and pianoforte
Alan Holley – Morpheus for clarinet and piano


Johanna Selleck

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Music in the time of Covid

Writing music and having concerts in the time of Covid19 by Alan Holley


“All of my colleagues in the composition and performance fields have found 2020 catastrophic for work and the pursuance of their art.”


I found myself writing for solo performers as concerts that included some of my chamber music, and including premieres in Australia, Japan and in several European countries, were all cancelled. A new solo piccolo work, SoPi, was written for and recorded by the principal piccolo in Belgrade Philharmonic Snjezana Pavicevic.

I composed two songs to texts by Mark Tredinnick First Light, and William Blake – The Clod and the Pebble, for the Melbourne soprano Amelia Jones and they were ‘premiered’ on YouTube.

As Sydney slowly emerged from the lockdown in July 2020 I looked at ways to create performance outlets for my music and that of my fellow composers both here and overseas. An obvious solution was to have an outdoor concert on the park in front of my house and only invite 20 people.

So, on August 2, in a Covid-19 compliant event, Richard Rourke, clarinet and trumpeter Hattie Channon performed to an appreciative and supportive audience on Harbord Park (Sydney). The three trumpet works that Harriet Channon performed were The Sky is Brass – Alan Holley (public premiere), Heat, dedicated to Hattie by Eve Duncan (Melbourne) and La Variazione Enigmatica by Andrian Pertout (Melbourne). Over the last couple of years Harriet had given the premieres of all three works either ‘live’ or on YouTube.  Richard performed Stravinsky and my clarinet solo the birds will sing them off accompanied joyously by the local parrots. It was great to perform new music again when so much has been cancelled over the last five months.

2nd August concert with Hattie Channon

Richard reprised the birds will sing them off at a house concert for 10 people in Pymble (Sydney) on October 6. I felt like music was seeping back into my world.

Alan Holley with Richard Rourke


I started to plan a program for a second ‘park’ recital and I chose to contact composers in Europe. I approached two of the leading younger generation composers in Albania – Enis Mullaj and Ergis Spahiu. Both write music that has a strongly independent voice and deeply immersed in the culture of their place. I also asked Andrian Pertout to write a new solo for trombone and he has created a work that will surely go into the repertoire of trombone soloists everywhere.






Due to rain, our ‘Music from Australia and Albania for solo brass’ was performed as a house concert with Gregory van der Struik, principal trombone with the Australian Opera and freelance trumpeter Dan Henderson. A small and enthusiastic audience cheered the music along!

Greg van der Struik, Alan Holley and Dan Henderson




















Program for October 18, 2020
Music in Freshwater

A concert of solos for brass in Covid 19 times

Gregory van der Struik – trombone
Dan Henderson – trumpet

for Harri (premiere) – Alan Holley
Ornithologia – Alan Holley
TORA (premiere) – Ergis Spahiu
Circles (premiere) – Enis Mullaj
Heron Creek – Alan Holley
Summer Bird – Alan Holley
Absent in a State of Flow (premiere) – Andrian Pertout



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Music for Albania

A concert to raise funds for the relief effort after the recent earthquake in Albania.
St Stephens Church 197 Macquarie Street Sydney
Monday 16 December at 6.30pm
A Concert of music by Albanian composers Enis Mullaj, Ergis Spahiu and Kris Sopiqoti as well as Mozart, Schumann, Andrián Pertout and Alan Holley.
Admission $30 at the door and a not to miss Raffle.

Diane Berger has been principal piccolo with the Opera Australia Orchestra for nearly 30 years and has performed many solo and chamber music concerts throughout Australia.
One of Sydney’s most active and important clarinettists Richard Rourke performs with the Opera Australia Orchestra as well as performing numerous recitals in Sydney each year.
Principal Trombone of the Opera Australia Orchestra Greg van der Struik is one of Australia’s foremost brass performers and has performed over 50 premieres of works by Australian composers. The Opera Australia Orchestra performs at the Sydney Opera House.

Sumiko Yamamura is one of the most active and loved accompanists in Sydney with a most wide ranging repertoire from baroque music to music of today.
Ian Sykes is the driving force behind Sirius Chamber Ensemble and performs new and old music for clarinet solo and in ensemble across Australia.
Freelance trumpeter Harriet Channon, as part of her doctoral studies, is performing many works for unaccompanied trumpet by Australian composers in Sydney and in Melbourne.
Diane, Richard and Ian have already performed several works by Albanian composers.
Richard Rourke and Greg van der Struik appear as soloists on HAMMERINGS RECORDS.





Our thanks to Rev. Ken Day and Mark Quarmby at St Stephens for their great support for this fundraising event



Update to the concert:

With the great support of Sydney based Albanians and Australians across our country, we have deposited $3000 AUD in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Albanian earthquake appeal.
Music brings us together.
Big thanks to the composers Enis Mullaj, Ergis Spahiu, Kris Sopiqoti and Andrián Pertout and the performers Diane Berger, Richard Rourke, Ian Sykes, Hattie Channon, Gregory Van Der Struik and Sumiko Yamamura.
And special thanks to Rod Holdaway, Merrick Fry and Rob Wynne for their donations of art.
The support team of Avrille Ciccone, Prudence Smith and Mark Quarmby made it all possible.
The support of the incredible musician Ilir Kodhima who tirelessly promotes his country and culture has built artistic bridges between our two countries.

Alan Holley and Annie Turner

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Stravinsky, Holley and Spahiu

Many thanks to the wonderful musicians at our concert last night: Richard Rourke – clarinet, Kevin Man – percussion, Gregory Van Der Struik – trombone and Harriet Channon – trumpet. Thank you for your great support of Australian music and for the premiere of WINDIW by Albanian composer Ergis Spahiu. It was a delight to see such an enthusiastic full house at Creative Space Gallery.

The program was as follows:

Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet – Igor Stravinsky

Summer Bird – Alan Holley

WINDIW – Ergis Spahiu (premiere)

The Sky is Brass – Alan Holley

Heron Creek – Alan Holley

(for Richard) – Alan Holley

Kevin Man, Richard Rourke, Harriet Channon, Alan Holley & Gregory Van Der Struik


Big thanks to Warringah Printmakers for their support.

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Music from Stravinsky to Now

with Greg Van Der Struik – trombone

Richard Rourke – clarinet

Harriet Channon – trumpet

Kevin Man – percussion


WINDIW – Ergis Spahiu (premiere)   ◊   for clarinet and vibraphone

for Richard – Alan Holley   ◊   for clarinet and vibraphone

  • Compositions for trombone and trumpet by Alan Holley will also be performed

Richard Rourke is joined by percussionist Kevin Man for a concert of recent music and a 100 year old gem by Stravinsky.

These stellar performers are at the forefront of Australian soloists.



November 17th 2019 at 5.30pm
105 Abbott Road, North Curl Curl
Sydney, Australia


 Plenty of parking available   ◊   Tickets at the door


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21st Century compositions

Hammerings Records presents

New works from Australia and Albania and Berio’s theatrical and poignant trombone solo, Sequenza V.


  • Alan Holley – musical director

  • John Lewis – clarinet

  • Diane Berger – flute

  • Harriet Channon – trumpet

  • Amanda Tillett – trombone


Exciting and energetic music is emerging from Albania. Enis Mullaj and Ergis Spahiu are two of the younger generation making a big impact in their own country. It is a thrill to present Mullaj’s first work in Australia – Waves for flute and clarinet. We performed SIGIS by Spahiu last year to great acclaim and now his solo flute composition, IRISHKEGAL.


Enis Mullaj

Ergis Spahiu


Diane and John are principal players of the Opera Australia Orchestra and have impressive solo and chamber music careers in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Amanda has been guest principal of the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellows and she has also performed with the SSO. Amanda will play the Berio work and Alan Holley’s virtuosic AURIC (2004).

Harriet will give the Sydney premiere of The Sky is Brass by Alan Holley. Recently she gave the first performances of four Australian compositions for solo trumpet at the historic Montsalvat on the outskirts of Melbourne in a concert presented by the Melbourne Composers’ League.


Sunday November 4, 2018 at 5.30pm

Creative Space  –  105 Abbott Road,

North Curl Curl, Sydney


Bookings phone 0428 143 646

$35 and $25 tickets available at the door



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