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Cathy Milliken : Represented Artist

One thing is common to my musical worlds - as a composer, performer, director: the delight in the moment, whether it be in the humour, the sound, the gesture or the structure of that particular experienced moment.

Random Audio Sample: Earth plays : Þingvellir : for orchestra by Cathy Milliken, from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 74.

Photo of Cathy Milliken

Photo: Adriane Westerbarkey


Born in Brisbane, Australia, Catherine Milliken lives in Berlin and is a composer, performer and director of musical theatre and educational projects.

Floating between genres, styles and musical worlds as performer and composer, Milliken´s music is at times funny, strong, strange, stringent and strongly connected to word, movement and other disciplines. She has composed for orchestras, chamber groups, film, radio, created installations, and directed and composed new musical theatre. She has led and conducted educational projects for many orchestras and universities throughout the world.

Milliken completed her music degree in Australia majoring in performance (piano and oboe). She then continued her oboe studies in Europe under Heinz Holliger and Maurice Bourgue as well as completing a full-time Bachelor degree in the Dalcroze Method of teaching music.

As a founding member of the renowned group for contemporary music, Ensemble Modern Germany, she has worked with leading composers and conductors of this century including Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Frank Zappa, György Ligeti and Karlheinz Stockhausen (who produced her performance of Spiral on CD - Stockhausen Verlag nr. 45).

Since 1990 Milliken has composed for theatre, opera, radio and film, and created a variety of installations. She has received commissions from the Berliner Saatsoper, Staatstheatre in Darmstadt, South Bank Centre London, the ZKM (Centre for New Media) Karlsruhe, the Experimental electronic Studio of Freiburg, the CCMIX(enakis) Centre in Paris, the German Public Radio Stations of Saarland, Hessen and the Deutschland Rundfunk, Berliner Staats Oper, Concerto Köln, Neue Vokalsolisten and is presently working on an orchestral work for the Bayrischer Rundfunk Orchestra. Awards include the Prix Marulic.

In 1994 she formed HCD-Productions with composer colleagues Dietmar Wiesner and Hermann Kretzschmar. Together they conceived installations and performances, produced CDs, and composed radio plays for which they received prizes such as the Prix Italia and the Deutscher Kritikerpreis (2009).

Milliken has also for many years been involved in creative educational and practical composition projects for professionals and non-professionals alike. She has led creative and compositional projects for Festivals such as Klangspuren, Schwaz (the Megaron Hall), Athens, Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg, as well as for various institutions and orchestras, such as Carnegie Hall (Weill Foundation), Sydney Opera House and Berliner Philharmonic. She has also been guest speaker at international conferences on creative education. From 2005-2012, she was Director of the Education Program of the Berliner Philharmonic, conceiving their educational programme as well as undertaking the creative and educative direction of all projects.

Catherine Milliken — current to February 2013

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2016 Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize Highly Commended Earth plays : Þingvellir
2016 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral Winner Earth plays I-IV

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Romeo's Passion : A chamber opera (2018) Commissioned by Umculo.
Earth plays I-IV (mezzo-soprano with orchestra) (2015) Commissioned by Musica Viva of the Bavarian Radio for Mezzo Soprano and Orchestra, with funding assistance from the Music Board of the Australia Council
Digital sheet music sample Three step : trio for horn, violin, violoncello (2010) Commissioned by Saar Berger.
Digital sheet music sample Two step : duo for viola and contrabass (2009) Written for Susan Knight and Matthew Mcdonald for the Chamber Music Festival in Zagreb 2010
Digital sheet music sample L'invitation au voyage (sextets: brass, keyboard, percussion, string, woodwind) (2002) Commissioned by ARTE
6 Memos : after Six Memos for the Next Millenium by Italo Calvino (1998) Commissioned by Saarbrucker Kammermusiktage.

Analysis & Media

- Interview [Audio]: Cathy Milliken interview
Interviewed by Briandain O'Shea (Producer), for Tall-Poppies.com
Cathy Milliken has been an artist many young Australian musicians have looked up to when they have travelled abroad to continue their studies in Europe. A renowned oboist, composer and music educator, Cathy has held key positions with two of the world’s leading music ensembles, Ensemble Modern and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.