Ann Millikan's music has been described as "tonally challenging yet emotionally involving" (Joseph Woodard, LA Times), "packed with propellant polyrhythmic textures" (New Sounds, WNYC), and "characterized by high energy and a quirky inventiveness that defies easy categorization...Her scoring is clean and transparent and her felicities of orchestration are among the most attractive elements in her work." (Stephen Eddins, All Music).
Millikan composes concert music for orchestra, chamber ensembles and choir, as well as opera, experimental and interdisciplinary projects involving installation, theatre and dance. Rhythmic vitality is a powerful force in her music, stemming from previous years playing jazz, African and Brazilian music. Her music is expressive and colorful, moving freely between atonal and tonal/modal languages depending upon the overall desired effect. She creates rich orchestral textures that are characterized by layering, rhythmic juxtaposition, and complex counterpoint.
Millikan received her MFA in Composition from the California Institute of the Arts where her mentors were Mel Powell, Morton Subotnick, and Stephen L. Mosko, and her BA in Music–Jazz Concentration (jazz piano, voice and composition) from San Jose State University. She has studied West African percussion from Senegal and Ghana, and many years of classical voice.
Her works have been performed in Italy, Brazil and throughout the United States by Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Bari, Emanuele Arciuli, ABSTRAI Ensemble, California EAR Unit, Zeitgeist, Citywinds, New Century Players, Oregon Repertory Singers, Grace Cathedral Men's Choir, and Joan La Barbara, among others. Her music is featured on radio broadcasts nationally, internationally, and over the internet.
Her awards include a 2011 MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, 2010 McKnight Composer Fellowship, California Arts Council, American Music Center, ASCAP, American Composers Forum, Meet The Composer, Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, Jerome Foundation, Zellerbach Family Fund, Berkeley Civic Arts Program, and Waging Peace Through Singing (Highest Honors).
Millikan's latest album of orchestral works, "Ballad Nocturne" featuring Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra and pianist Emanuele Arciuli, and her debut album, "The Music of Ann Millikan Featuring the California EAR Unit" are both available on Innova Recordings. Millikan is a freelance composer based in Saint Paul, MN and teaches composition at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists.