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, 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.
Known for her collaborative projects that connect deeply with community – story, history, and culture are often an impetus behind her work.
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 (piano, voice and composition), Phi Kappa Phi, 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 Europe, South America and throughout the United States by Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Bari, Emanuele Arciuli, ABSTRAI Ensemble, California EAR Unit, Zeitgeist, No Exit New Music Ensemble, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Chapel Hill Philharmonia, 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 and internationally.
Ann Millikan is a recipient of the prestigious McKnight Composer Fellowship. She has garnered awards from the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota State Arts Board, 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 album of orchestral works, "Ballad Nocturne" featuring Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra and pianist Emanuele Arciuli, her debut album, "The Music of Ann Millikan Featuring the California EAR Unit", and her latest release "Millikan Symphony" with Boston Modern Orchestra Project and violin soloist Jennifer Curtis, are available on Innova Recordings. Her opera, "Swede Hollow", is available from CD Baby. Ann Millikan is a freelance composer based in Saint Paul, MN.