Cathy Milliken


Compositions // All


  • 5 Step 2 (working title)

    String Quintet: Music for "Das Gläserne Meer" von Tauchgold. Commissioned by vkb Foundation, Munich. Premiere 7.11.2019

  • Brass (working title)

    for horn, two trumpets, trombone, tuba. Commissioned by the Stockholm Chamber Brass for the Schumann Fest, Düsseldorf. Premiere 6.6.19

  • Bright Ring

    for ensemble. 1020 2100 2perc 2121 Commissioned by Ensemble Modern. Premiere by Ensemble Modern at Alte Oper, Frankfurt am Main, 3.3.2019

  • Orchestral Work (working title)

    for orchestra. Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Premiere 27.9.2019 Adelaide Town Hall.

  • Sounds of Still Lifes.

    A radio play by Cathy Milliken and Dietmar Wiesner based on texts by Pablo Picasso. Featuring Caroline Junghanns, Ulrich Noethen, Corinna Kirchhoff, Markus Meyer, Annett Wernitzsch and members of the Ensemble Modern. Broadcast 8.1.19 SWR2.

  • Stadtlied (City Song)

    for orchestra, choir, soloists, amateur musicians. A participatory work composed for Internationales Musikfest Hamburg and the Elbphilharmonie. Premiere 25.5.2019 at the Elbphilharmonie

  • Zweierlei Recht

    for choirs, orchestra, windbands, trumpet ensemble, actors, dancers. A Country Community Opera commissioned by the Land Tyrol as part of a series of seven such operas based on the life of Maximilian I, performed throughout Tyrol in June 2019.


  • Collaborative Composition

    for voices, instruments, cello, plastic bottles, movement. A collaborative work by 25 students and workshop leader, Cathy Milliken at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse for Music Performance during the Ferienkurse. Score not available.

  • Crie

    for violin and voice (one player). Premiere by Veronique Serret at Carriageworks as part of Ensemble Offspring's Lone Hemisphere's Concert on 4.12.2018.


    for soprano guitar and orchestra. 3333 4331 strings (12 10 8 7 6) 2 perc Timpani Premiere 10.8.18 as part of the International Guitar Festival 2018 in Adelaide. Resident Composer Adelaide Symphony Orchestra 2018-2020.

  • Opera of Objects.

    for oboe, percussion, piano, objects and voices. A collaborative work by Erik Griswold, Cathy Milliken and Vanessa Tomlinson. Text by Craig Foltz. Premiere 9.11.2018

  • Romeo's Passion

    for 2 sopranos, 2 tenors, oboe, violin, piano. A musical-theatrical work for five singers, oboe, violin and piano. Premiere at the Hillbrow Theatre, Johannesburg and produced by Apthorp.

  • Shoes

    for clarinet, percussion, zheng and electronics. Music to the film "Shoes" by Lois Weber. Commissioned and produced by Arte. Premiere 8.3.2018

  • Suspense

    for clarinet, percussion, zheng and electronics. Music to the film "Suspense" by Lois Weber. Commissioned and produced by Arte. Premiere 8.3.2018


  • Driving with Fatima

    A radio play with text and songs. Texts by Fatima Dike. Vocals Jocelyn B.Smith, piano Cathy Milliken. Produced by Deutschlandfunk September 2017.

  • Pollok

    for flute, clarinet, string quintett, percussion, piano.

  • Red Live Breath

    for chamber choir, stones, whirlies and torches. Premiere 9.11.2017 by The Australian Voices at Queensland Conservatorium.

  • The Space of the Object (Tongues of Stone)

    Variable instrumentation.

  • Three Sound

    for clarinet, violoncello, sounds and text. Commissioned by the Trio Catch for their "Ohr Knacker" series. Premiere Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, 8.10.17.

  • Waving

    for orchestra and four participating mouth organ groups. A participatory orchestral work for youth concerts. Commissioned by the Elbphilharmonie and premiered on 31.1.2017.


  • Brusl

    A participatory work for 140 participants and local music groups from Bruchsal Premiere 15.10.2016 in Bruchsal. (Direction, composition and arrangements by Cathy Milliken.)

  • Fatima Dike - a Radio Portrait.

    A radio portrait of the writer Fatima Dike based on interviews carried out in her home town Langa, South Africa and interspersed with songs composed by Cathy Milliken based on poetry by Fatima Dike. Radio play is by Fatima Dike and Cathy Milliken.

  • GAACH - a kind of Folk Opera

    A participative opera. A commission by Münchener Biennale 2016, to Cathy Milliken, Robyn Schulkowsky, Dietmar Wiesner and 200 Participants. Premiere in the Foyer of the Gasteig Philharmonic Hall on the 5.6.2016

  • Glockenflügel (Bell's Wings)

    for 2 Tp, 2 Hr, 2 Trom, bass trombone, tape. (Brass Ensemble and Tape). Commissioned by the Festival of Mecklenburg Vorpommern for their opening on 17.6.2016.

  • Lachrymae

    for chamber orchestra.

  • Steel-True Gold-Sole

    for piano, sampler and keyboard, recorder and voice. A musical portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson. A Commission from Gabriella Smart and her Piano Project.

  • Tyalgum Stories - Here we are

    for choirs, recorders, Clarinet, Percussion A site specific collection of works for and by the community of Tyalgum and Lismore for the Tyalgum Festival in Northern New South Wales, Australia. (Direction, composition and arrangements by Cathy Milliken.)

  • We are all stars

    School windband and public A public engagement- /Music and Light- Installation for School windband and public. Premiere 5.9.2016 at Nehama Beach, Kamaishi, Japan.

  • We Are All Stars

    An installation for Horn (Saar Berger) and field recordings in collaboration with Chris Wainwright' Exhibition of the same name. Nihonbashi Institute for Contemporary Arts. Tokyo, Japan. 4-14th April.

  • Wenden und Drehen

    A participatory work and performance for Wismar choirs, commissioned by the Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern. Premiered 25.6.2016. Score unavailable.

  • Wendengesang (Leaving Heart)

    for soprano and violin. A musical theatre Installation for soprano and violin. Commissioned by the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival. Premiered by Frauke Aulbert and Elfa Run Kristinsdottir 25.6.2016


  • Comfort Ye

    An opera based on stories, texts and songs by young South African singers. Composition- Georg Friedrich Handel, Cathy Milliken, Bloekombos Secondary School Choir. Directed by Robert Lehmeier. Produced by Umculo Festival/Shirley Apthorpe Director.

  • Earth Plays I-IV

    Earth Plays I (Þingvellir) Earth Plays II (Epidauros) Earth Plays III (Gohyaku Rakan) Earth Plays IV (Radio City Hall) For Mezzo Soprano and Orchestra. 3,3,3,3 / 4,3,3,1 / 4 Perc. / 14,12,10,8,6. Premiered by the Bavarian Radio Orchestra for Musica Viva on December 4th, 2015. Soloist: Fiona Campbell, conductor: Peter Rundel.

  • Five Step

    Composition for string quintet, commissioned by Deutschlandfunk for the radio play Metamorphosen and for the ensemble of the same name. Text by Florian Goldberg, directed by Heike Tauch.

  • Innsbruck Stadtlied

    for Orchestra, choir and soloists. Premiere on 31.12.15 with Tyrolean Symphony Orchestra and soloists Verena Pötzl, Elias Hosseini, Wiltener boys Choir, Ravi Srinivasan. Based on Texts and Melodies by Innsbruck School children. Arrangement: Cathy Milliken

  • Picasso and Words

    for coloratura soprano, tenor, baritone, bass. For voice quintet based on poetry by Pablo Picasso. Commissioned by Vocalsolisten. Premiere Theaterhaus, Stuttgart, 20.3.15.


  • Bunyah

    A radio play by Cathy Milliken and Dietmar Wiesner based on texts by Les Murray and translations by Margitt Lehbert, featuring Dagmar Manzel und Ulrich Noeten. Produced by SWR Radio, Germany. Winner of Prix Italia 2015.

  • Earth Plays - Þingvellir

    An orchestral piece performed by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra on 10th April 2014 as part of a larger work to be performed by the Bavarian Radio orchestra in December 2015.

  • Messages for you

    A participatory work composed and directed for wind bands, choirs, string students and professional musicians. Including a visual installation with images by artist Chris Wainwright. Performed at the Hojuji Temple in Kamaishi on 3rd November. Commissioned by Future Labo.

  • Shifrorl

    Chamber music commissioned by Decibel Ensemble as part of their "After Julia" Project. First performance by Deciebal (Musical dDrector - Cat Hope)on 8.11.2014 at Eugene Goossens Hall in Ultimo, Sydney.


  • Augenblicke

    for mixed ensemble, elastic scoring and variable line-up - for school students with fundamental instrumental skills. New revised version. Premiere: Lautstark Klangspuren Festival, Austria

  • Catalogue of Blue

    Duo for oboe and percussion. Commissioned by Christian Hommel

  • Uh Oh!

    Uh Oh! for Bassoon Quartet. (for Frank Zappa) Premiere 3.12.2013 Vienna, by members of Klangforum Wien.

  • Urge me not

    solo piece for counter tenor Premiere: Erdenkoben 4.5.2013 Soloist: Daniel Gloger as part of his solo evening "Nackt!"


  • Alles was besteht

    Concert piece based on a text by Jenny Erpenbeck, for chamber ensemble, soprano, two speakers Premiere 3 June. Members of the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich

  • Split by two

    Music theatre piece based on texts by John Berger for two voices, oboe, recorders, mouth organs, sampler by Kate Strong/Cathy Milliken Premiere 30.8.2012 at the Ankunft Bahnhof Festival, Berlin Soloists: Kate Strong and Cathy Milliken


  • Caprichos nr 44 "To spin a good yarn"

    for solo guitar. Commissioned by Jürgen Ruck.

  • Memorial (for Tohoku)

    12 card pieces for 1-15 players/singers

  • The Flowering of the Naked Body (Die Blüte des nackten Körpers)

    Radio play based on old Egyptian lyric poetry for clarinet (also bass clarinet, birbyne), Kanun, percussion, contrabass (also electric bass) Adaptation: Raoul Schrott/Prod. Hessian Broadcasting Composition/production HCD Productions (Hermann Kretzschmar, Cathy Milliken, Dietmar Wiesner)


  • Song - Kristallwelt

    for mixed ensemble, variable line-up for school students with fundamental instrumental skills Premiere: Lautstark Klangspuren Festival, Austria

  • Three Step

    for horn, violin, cello Commissioned by Saar Berger, Ensemble Modern


  • Knee Piece 45

    for flute, oboe, percussion Premiere Berlin, Ultraschall Festival, Berlin 2009

  • Two Step

    for violin and double bass. Commissioned by Zagreb Chamber Music Festival 2010.


  • Augenblicke

    for mixed ensemble, elastic scoring and variable line-up - for school students with fundamental instrumental skills Premiere: Lautstark Klangspuren Festival, Austria

  • House of Voices (Haus aus Stimmen)

    radio play version of the music theatre piece of the same name for two voices, countertenor, string quartet, choir and film Libretto: Silke Scheuermann production/composition: Cathy Milliken/Dietmar Wiesner 2008 German Critics' Prize


  • A Slip in the Night Tango

    for trumpet and melodica Premiere: Portrait concert, Dachsaal Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt, by Sava Stoianov and Valentin Garvie

  • Cento

    for soprano, countertenor and two string trios Premiere: Ensemble Resonanz and Neue Vokalsolisten im Radial System, Berlin

  • House of Voices (Haus aus Stimmen)

    Music theatre piece for two voices, countertenor, string quartet, choir and film Libretto: Silke Scheuermann, production/composition: Cathy Milliken/Dietmar Wiesner Premiere: Intermedia Festival, Karlsruhe/HR 2


  • Pieces

    for mandolin orchestra Premiere: Mandolinen Konzertgesellschaft, conductor: Detlef Thewes Commission sponsored by the Arts Foundation of NRW

  • Secret Seven

    for flute, oboe, clarinet, cello percussion and piano Premiere Ensemble Modern at a portrait concert, Dachsaal, Frankfurt


  • "Seven Attempted Escapes from Silence: Windows and Mirrors"

    Chamber opera, libretto: Jonathan Safran Foer Small orchestra Berliner Staatsoper

  • a single climb to a line

    for four tenor trombones

  • Church Bell Concert and installation "Von der Freundschaft"

    for the City of Hannover, its Bells, children's choir and handbell choir Inner city and church spires, Hanover, Handbell Choir and the Choir of the International Ecumenical Church Festival and HGNM

  • Novelle 1 and 11

    for chamber orchestra and speaker Based on texts by Charles Bukowski and Arthur Rimbaud Commission sponsored by the Arts Foundation of NRW for Kempen Festival and Concerto Köln

  • singles

    for large ensemble Commissioned by Art Festival, Wuppertal Commission sponsored by the Arts Foundation of NRW


  • En secret

    for counter tenor, guitar and oboe d'amore Premiere: Internationale Ferienkurse, Darmstadt 2004

  • Filmstudie

    for trombone, cello, bass guitar, piano, two percussion commissioned by Ensemble Ascolta, Stuttgart, for the film of the same name by Hans Richter (DVD: Arte TV)

  • Plays

    Wind quintet (staged composition) for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, also tuned glasses, cow instruments, recorders and mouth organs. commissioned by "Chronophonie", Freiburg im Breisgau Premiere: Museum of Modern Art, Freiburg im Breisgau

  • Songs of Love, Songs of War

    Concert pieces for two voices, trumpet, bass guitar, percussion, piano/sampler

  • Wie Fliehen

    for solo guitar Commissioned by Jürgen Ruck


  • A Musical Fantasy

    Theatre version of the radio plays "Denotaion Babel" and "Cosmic Memos" Direction/composition: Kretzschmar/Milliken/Wiesner Schauspiel Frankfurt

  • Antigone

    for voices and diverse instruments played by actors. Choral composition for "Antigone" based on Sophocles/Hölderlin Schauspiel Frankfurt, director: Wanda Golonka

  • India Song

    for tenor, viola, tape. Composition for "India Song" by Marguarite Duras Schauspiel Frankfurt, director: Wanda Golonka

  • Looks Live

    Concert piece for voice, bass guitar, piano/sampler Theaterhaus, Frankfurt and Hessian Broadcasting


  • Eye View

    Installation (objects, sounds and video) for Contrabass, Percussion, Speaker and Electronics. Susan Knight, Christian Dierstein, Johannes Nied. Experimental studio, Freiburg, premiered at the Witten Contemporary Chamber Music Festival

  • L'invitation au Voyage

    Silent film music to L'invitation au Voyage by Germaine Dulac. for clarinet, trumpet, two percussion, piano, viola and violoncello. Premiered during the Germain Dulac Retrospective, Frankfurt 2006 produced by Arte TV

  • New Looks

    Radio play/ texts taken from works by William Shakespeare Deutschland Radio 2003 "Prix Marulic", Zagreb Radio


  • 9 Looks

    for solo piano Premiere and commission by Kristi Becker

  • Hamletink

    Music theatre piece based on William Shakespeare's Hamlet for actor, horn, two violoncello, sampler, percussion, tape, video Commissioned by Wissenschaftstadt Darmstadt Producer: International Music Institute, Darmstadt Co-producers: ZKM, Karlsruhe and "The Australia Council for the Arts Funding Body"

  • La Vie de Bohème

    Based on the film of the same name by Aki Kaurismäki, and the novel "Scenes of Bohemian Life, Paris" by Henri Murger Composition: HCD Productions (Hermann Kretzschmar, Cathy Milliken, Dietmar Wiesner), director Andre Wilms

  • Round Robin

    for solo flute Premiere and commission- Ansbach Music Festival, Carin Levine


  • Cosmic Memos

    for two speaker/singers (male and female), viola, horn, contrabass, percussion, Radio play/texts taken from works by Italo Calvino Direction/composition/libretto by HCD PRODUCTIONS: Hermann Kretzschmar/Cathy Milliken/Dietmar Wiesner Hessian Broadcasting Station/ZKM, Karlsruhe 2000 Radio play of the month 2001 Westfalen jury prize for best direction

  • Cutouts - Lungs (Auschnitt-Lungen)

    for hanging bricks, infusion tubes, hanging plants, contact microphones, samples sound. Installation at Zeche Nachtigall, Witten Festival of Contemporary Chamber Music, Witten

  • More Looks

    Live Version for speaker, sampler and piano Radio play/texts taken from works by William Shakespeare Hessian Broadcasting/Artists Corner


  • Cutouts - Lungs (Auschnitt-Lungen)

    for hanging bricks, infusion tubes, hanging plants, contact microphones, samples sound. Installation at Zeche Nachtigall, Witten Festival of Contemporary Chamber Music, Witten

  • Denotation Babel

    Radio play/Text by Helmut Krausser Composition/production by HCD PRODUCTIONS and HR2: Hermann Kretzschmar/Cathy Milliken/Dietmar Wiesner Hessian Broadcasting Station (HR2) Winner of the "Prix Italia" 2000

  • Jet

    for clarinet and tape Commissioned by: CMMIX, Paris premiere, Festival Sons d'Hiver, Paris

  • Margaret

    for four singers and piano Based on a poem by Gerard Manly Hopkins Saarbrücken Chamber Music Festival


  • 6 Memos

    for flute (also piccolo, alto flute and bass flute) and string quartet Based on "6 Memos for the Next Millennium" by Italo Calvino Saarbrücken Chamber Music Festival (for Mandelring Quartet & Dietmar Wiesner) 12.10.1998

  • Hippolytos and Salome

    for flute, oboe, bass clarinet, piano and percussion Adaptation of Paul Bowles' theatre music by HCD Productions: realised from tape of Bowle's synthesizer version and arranged by Hermann Kretzschmar, Cathy Milliken, Dietmar Wiesner. Performance and recording by HCD Productions/Largo Records.

  • Mother tongue (Muttersprache)

    for speaker, soprano, baritone, violin, cello, piano, percussion and tape Based on poems and prose by Rosa Ausländer State Theatre Darmstadt; tape realised at ZKM studios, Karlsruhe


  • Objects

    for speaking pianist and piano. Texts from "Tender Buttons" by Gertrude Stein. Kestner Museum, Hanover Biennale

  • Theatre music

    for soprano saxophone, viola, double bass. Incidental music for Marguerite Duras' "Susannah Andler". Chichester Festival Theatre, GB, director: Lindy Davies


  • Melos

    for two amplified timpani and electronic filters (one player) Premiere: Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Peppie Wiersma.

  • Palomar

    for violin and 8-track-tape. Based on "Mr Palomar" by Italo Calvino. Commissioned by Jagdish Mistrey (Ensemble Modern).


  • Journey

    for horn, trumpet, violoncello, percussion, piano/sampler and three school classes of schoolchildren Fantasy/Improvisations based on Franz Schubert's "Die Winterreise" (The Winter Journey). Commission and premiere: Southbank Centre, London.

  • Sifr

    for speaker, flute, piano/sampler, percussion. Co-production of CDs with Hessian Broadcasting.

  • Theatre music

    for violoncello and sampler Incidental music for "Scenes from an Execution" by Howard Barker Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney, director Lindy Davies

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