Cathy Milliken: Piece 43 For Now

January 26, 2024 / ISCM – GERMAN SECTION

Cathy Milliken (b. 1956) is a Brisbane, Australia-born and Berlin, Germany-based international award-winning performer and composer known for her evocative instrumental and vocal works. She has composed for concert, opera, radio and film. Commissioners include Ensemble Modern, Remix Ensemble, Porto, London Sinfonietta, Arte, Southbank Centre London, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Staatsoper Berlin and Musica Viva of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. She was a founding member of Ensemble Modern and has led the Berliner Philharmoniker Education Program. International participatory commissions including the Umculo Festival (South Africa), Future Labo (Japan), and the Munich Biennale. Recipient of several awards, including the Prix Italia and the APRA AMCOS/AMC Art Music Award, Milliken was also Associate Composer of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 2018-20. 

About her 2020 orchestra composition Piece 43 For Now, the composer has written:

“The inspiration for Piece 43 For Now I found in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 43, which delves into the contradictions of love, absence, isolation, and the brightness of night and its dreams. The last two lines, in particular, brought light to the dark days of isolation during COVID:

All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.

“It was commissioned by the SWR Symphonieorchester for the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2020 and was written especially for small orchestral forces. Piece 43 For Now expresses the darkness but also the hope for change born from that time.”