updated 28 June 2021
© Linda Warlond

Kirsten Milenko

Australian composer, pianist, and conductor born 23 June 1993 in Avalon (Australia).

Kirsten Milenko studied International Relations and piano at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, alongside classes of dance and French and English literature, starting in 2012. She went on to study composition with Liza Lim, Natasha Anderson, Ursula Caporali, and Rosalind Page at the Sydney Conservatory, where she was awarded the Ignaz Friedman Memorial Prize for excellence in composition in 2016. In 2017, she undertook a Master’s of Composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where she studied with Niels Rosing-Schow, Simon Løffler, and Jeppe Just Christensen. She is currently completing a conducting degree under the tutelage of Arturo Tamayo at Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana in Lugano (Switzerland).

Additionally, Milenko has participated in masterclasses led by composers and conductors such as Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Francesco Filidei, Dmitri Kourliandski, Catherine Milliken, Mark Andre, Zygmunt Krauze, Martin Bresnick, Johannes Wildner, Jessica Cottis, and Mark Shapiro.

Her works have been premiered in Australia and Europe by ensembles and orchestras such as the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, MusikFabrik, Bang on a Can, Esbjerg Ensemble, Ensemblage, Scandinavian Guitar Duo, Trio Ismena, E-Mex Ensemble, Gildas Quartet, Judgement of Paris Quartet, Adelaide Wind Orchestra, Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, Ensemble Intercontemporain, ULYSSES, and Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen.

She has performed her own works for piano in venues including Staatsoper - Opera Stabile (Hamburg) and Sa Taronja Independent Cultural Centre (Majorca), and has appeared as a conductor at Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatory. She regularly collaborates with musicians, dancers, and performers of various disciplines, including Eva Reiter, Lucy Humphris, Jessica Lyall, Stefanos Bizas, Ruth Rebekka Hansen, Kalle Hakosalo, Johanna Maria Nylund, James Morely, Hayley Page, Bartłomiej Sutt, Andrzej Karałow, Pablo Sánchez-Escariche Gasch, Sylvie Woods, Jacques Emery, and Annaroosa Lampela.

In 2020, her first opera/dance/theatre work, Dalloway, was premiered at the Pulsar Festival. In the same year, she participated in Royaumont Voix Nouvelles. In 2021, Milenko was awarded a Roche Young Commission by the Artistic Director of the Lucerne Festival, Wolfgang Rihm. She was also chosen to compose an opera, in collaboration with Bea Redweik (librettist) and Johan Klint Sandberg (stage director), based on Albert Camus’ The Stranger, to be premiered at the National Theatre in Mannheim.

Through her use of vocal forms, instruments, electronics, and corporeal expressivity, Milenko attempts to create a dialogue between sound and movement, and to compose music which explores the interconnections between humanity and our environment.

Currently in residence at the Cité Internationale de Arts in Paris, Kirsten Milenko divides her time between Paris and Copenhagen. She is a represented artist at the Australian Music Centre.

Awards and Distinctions

  • Ian Donald Wilson Memorial Scholarship, Berlin Opera Academy, 2020
  • Roche Young Commissions 2019-21, Lucerne Festival, 2019
  • Almene Fund Scholarship, Royal Danish Academy of Music, 2019
  • RDAM Scholarship 2019-20, Royal Danish Academy of Music, 2019
  • RDAM Scholarship 2018-19, Royal Danish Academy of Music, 2018
  • John Amis Award, Dartington International Summer School, 2018
  • Matthew Wither’s Australian Music Competition, 2nd Prize, 2016
  • The Ignaz Friedman Memorial Prize, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Faculty of Composition, 2016
  • Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, 2013

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2021


Site personnel de la compositrice ; Australian Music Centre.

  • Solo (excluding voice)
    • à l'aube for classical guitar (2016), 5 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • elec Orbis for cello and electronics (2016), 12 mn
    • To Dust for prepared piano (2016)
    • Ad Forestum for guitar (2017)
    • De-Voir for piano (2017), 8 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • We are only breathing for marimba and ten Thai bao gongs (2018)
    • elec d'or for cello and electronics (2019), 9 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • elec Lux Aeterna for vibraphone, electronics and light (2019), 13 mn
    • Water Tangent solo piano cycle (2017-2019)
    • Collection I educational pieces for solo piano (2018-2020)
  • Chamber music
    • Wachtraum string quartet n°1 (2015), 9 mn 39 s
    • Light Movements for recorder quartet (2016), 8 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • Light Movements for clarinet quartet (2016), 8 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • O for bass flute, bass clarinet and prepared piano (2016), 6 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • elec Quoram for bass clarinet, double bass, piano and electronics (2016)
    • Organum for viola, cello and electric guitar (2017)
    • Canthus for guitar duo (2018)
    • Opia for chamber ensemble (2018), 12 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • Sleepless Eremite for chinese flutes, yangqin, pipa, erhu, cello and piano (2018)
    • Altérité for violin and two percussionists (2019)
    • Solace piano trio (2020), 10 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • Tapestries for clarinet, piano, electric guitar, cello, double bass and percussion (2020)
    • We are strangers for violin, viola, cello, double bass and bass viol (2020)
    • Lapse duo for violin and violoncello (2021), 7 mn about
    • Pastiche for percussion, piano, electric guitar and cello (2019-2021)
  • Instrumental ensemble music
  • Concertant music
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
    • Ex Aere for soprano, double bass and electronics (2017)
    • Eardstapa for soprano and string quartet (2019)
    • Night is worn for two voices and orchestra (2019), 11 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • stage Dalloway opera and dance-theater (2020), 35 mn, Australian Music Centre
  • A cappella vocal music
    • Speak for vocal ensemble (2019-219), 8 mn, Australian Music Centre
    • elec ircam Ircam cursus Tempête for soprano and electronics (2023), 15 mn [program note]
  • Unspecified instrumentation

Liens internet

(liens vérifiés en juin 2021).


  • Kirsten MILENKO, « Caeli », album de compositions électroacoustiques, à paraître en 2021.
  • Kirsten MILENKO, O (The Celtic Stone), dans « The Blue Morphosis », Reg Poet : lecture, avec des oeuvres de Bethlehem Casuals, Lady Lamp, Blake the Poet, Marie Carrol, Fastus, Gaetanofiorin, Kaspar, Jude, PMD, Jo Beth Young, Yu Takimoto, Green Fingers Records, 2020, disponible en digital.