The initial impetus of the ‘Australian Thais’ project came from David Howie’s Thai family connections and the shared interest to explore the connections between the music and people of both countries. This led to collaborations with some of Thailand and Australia’s premiere composers to commission, workshop and produce new music for a cross-cultural exchange aimed at enhancing and strengthening links between the two countries, greatly increasing cultural awareness and understanding through music. This project was made possible by a Sydney University, Conservatorium of Music internal research grant.
First performing together in 2008, Michael Duke and David Howie have always put exciting and innovative chamber music at the heart of HD Duo’s repertoire – commissioning, recording and performing new works written by some of Australia’s most prominent and respected composers. These include Anne Boyd, Michael Smetanin, Matthew Hindson. Mark Zadro, Gerard Brophy, Tim Dargaville, Andrew Batterham, Brenton Broadstock, Miriama Young and Paul Sarcich. 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, Singapore, UK, France, Malta, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Canada, Croatia, Mexico and French Polynesian New Caledonia.