Cathy Milliken moves between manifold musical worlds, taking great joy in facilitating creativity and participation. Through the diversity and relevance of her output, and especially her multi-national collective creative projects, she has won international recognition as a leading composer, creative director, performer and educational program consultant. One thing is common to all her work: the delight in the moment, whether it be in the humour, the sound, the gesture or the structure of that particular experienced moment.
Cathy has devised and composed prize-winning works for theatre, opera, choir, orchestra, chamber ensembles radio and film, and created installations. She has been commissioned by the Berliner Staatsoper, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Staatstheater Darmstadt, Zafraan Ensemble Berlin, Lux:NM, Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, South Bank Centre London, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, ZKM (Centre for New Media) Karlsruhe, The Experimental Electronic Studio of Freiburg, as well as the CCMIX(enakis) Centre in Paris, the German Public Radio Stations of Saarland, Hessen and the Deutschlandfunk and Concerto Köln. Her CD “Two Step” was released to critical acclaim in early 2020 on the Tall Poppies label.
In 2019, her work Bright Ring, commissioned by Ensemble Modern for large ensemble, was performed under the baton of Sir George Benjamin in Wigmore Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Alte Oper Frankfurt, receiving enthusiastic reviews. Earth Plays was premiered by the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and mezzo-soprano Fiona Campbell in December 2015, a commission by Musica Viva in Munich. A later performance in Adelaide won the Australian Art Music Award in 2016. Further prizes have included the Prix Marulić, the Prix Italia, a second Australian Art Music Award in 2021, as well as the 2019 YAMAward for best opera for young people for Romeo’s Passion.
From 2005 – 2012, Cathy Milliken was Director of the Education Program of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Participatory compositional projects have - on top of her many collaborations in Europe - taken her to South Africa (Umculo Festival), Sydney (Artology), Japan (Future Labo Tohoku) and Oman.