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Kirsten Milenko : Associate Artist

“...moments of despair, contrasted with gentle imagery and symbolism of hope.” — Canberra CityNews

Random Audio Sample: Le Vol : duet for soprano saxophone and piano by Kirsten Milenko, from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 101.

Photo of Kirsten Milenko

Photo: Anastasiya Ram

Kirsten Milenko (b.1993) is an Australian composer, conductor and orchestrator based in Paris. Her music embodies acoustic and electronic settings of an immersive and beautifully strange nature. As a conductor, her work began as an extension of composition and has since evolved across a diverse repertoire for concert and stage.

She studied composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music (MMus) and at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (BMus), where she received the 2016 Ignaz Friedman Memorial Prize for excellence in composition. Currently, she is completing the 2022-23 Cursus Program on Composition and Computer Music at IRCAM. Milenko studied orchestral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music on the Sorrell Women Conductors Program, and at the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana (CAS) to specialise in contemporary repertoire.

In 2019, Milenko was awarded the Roche Young Commission by Artistic Director of Lucerne Festival, Wolfgang Rihm. In 2020, her debut opera and dance-theatre piece Dalloway premiered at Pulsar Festival in Copenhagen. Her compositions have received international premieres by ensembles and orchestras such as: Ensemble MusikFabrik, Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra, Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, CSO Chamber Ensemble, Ensemblage, Gildas Quartet, Esbjerg Ensemble, Scandinavian Guitar Duo, Adelaide Wind Orchestra.

Her recent work as an orchestrator includes projects such as a series of orchestral remixes of electronic pieces by SØS Gunver Ryberg for the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra at SPOT Festival 2022, and Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture for Mizmorim Festival 2023.

From 2017-21, she attended academies and masterclasses with composers such as: Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Francesco Filidei, Dmitri Kourliandski, Catherine Milliken, Mark Andre, Zygmunt Krauze, Martin Bresnick - and conductors: Johannes Wildner, Jessica Cottis, Paul Murphy, Kazuki Yamada, Mark Shapiro, Mark Shiell. She was a participant of the 2020-21 Words and Music Workshop with the Opéra Orchestre National de Montpellier, led by Ted Huffman and Sivan Eldar, and attended the Académie du Festival d'Aix with Andrea Breth in 2021.

Kirsten Milenko — current to July 2023

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Lapse : duo for violin and violoncello (2021) Commissioned by Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), The ANAM Set for performance by Rachael Kwa.
Skin Deep : large chamber ensemble (2021) Commissioned by Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen for KLANG Festival 2021 with the support of the Danish Arts Foundation.
Traho : full orchestra (2021) Commissioned by Roche as part of Roche Young Commissions for Lucerne Festival
We Are Strangers : for bass viol, violin, viola, cello, double bass (2020) Composed for Voix Nouvelles 2020
Tapestries (sextets: keyboard, percussion, string, woodwind) (2020) Commissioned by Pulsar Festival 2020
Digital sheet music sample Solace : piano trio (2020) Commissioned by Trio Ismena