First performing together in 2008, Duke and Howie have made the impetus for their duo the presentation of exciting and innovative chamber music. Of particular interest and drive for the duo has been their close collaboration with some of Australia’s most prominent and respected composers commissioning, recording and performing these new works written specifically for them. Leading composers that have written for HD Duo include: Anne Boyd, Michael Smetanin, Matthew Hindson, Mark Zadro, Andrew Batterham, Brenton Broadstock, Miriama Young, Catherine Likhuta and Paul Sarcich.
Meeting as colleagues at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Duo is frequently featured on the conservatorium’s concert series. As well as performing regularly across the major cities of Australia, HD Duo has also appeared in concert throughout the world in countries such as Thailand, USA, England, Scotland, Mexico, France and French Polynesia New Caledonia. Some highlights have included: performances at multiple World Saxophone Congress’ (2009, 2012, 2015), being featured artists at the North American Saxophone Alliance conference Indianola, Iowa (2011), their UK debut in concert at “Australia House" in London (2012), the Australasian Saxophone and Clarinet Conference (2013) and recital concerts at the Festival de Mexico in Mexico City (2014).
As seasoned educators HD Duo has relished the opportunity to work with students presenting master classes and workshops at institutions that include: the University of Minnesota, California State University Long Beach, Indiana University Bloomington, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, Edith Cowen University, Charles Darwin Univeristy and the University of Queensland. In 2014 their second recording “Incandescence: Music for saxophone and piano by female composers" was released on the Saxophone Classics Label (UK).
In 2015 they were recipients of a COALAR (Council on Australia Latin America Relations) grant that enabled them to commission new works by Mexican and Australian composers for their third CD.
They travelled to Mexico City, where they workshopped the new Mexican pieces with the composers, performing the works along with the new Australian compositions in concerts and a live broadcast at Opus FM. They also gave masterclasses at NICO and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Over the rest of 2015 they will be touring the new works throughout the major cities in Australia.