Kirsten Milenko is an Australian composer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Milenko works with vocal, instrumental and electronic media to express music as environmental phenomena. Working closely with movement, her music embodies a constant synergy between sound and motion to capture perceptions of space. In December 2017, her single ‘Ex Aere’ released on Spotify, Bandcamp and iTunes. Her debut album ‘Caeli’ is scheduled for release in June 2019.

Currently, she studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music under Niels Rosing-Schow and Simon Løffler. Previously, she studied under Liza Lim, Rosalind Page, Natasha Anderson and Ursula Caporali at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she is a recipient of the Ignaz Friedman Memorial Prize (2015).

Milenko is represented as an associate artist with the Australian Music Centre. Her produced work is released under the Australian indie label Muisti-Records and available on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp. Live recordings of concert works are available through Soundcloud and YouTube. Links to these sites can be found on the icons at the end of each page.

Milenko’s work has been performed in Australia and Europe by ensembles such as: DR VokalEnsemblet, Esbjerg Ensemble, E-Mex Ensemble, SCM Wind Symphony, Ensemblage, Scandinavian Guitar Duo. She has performed her own work at venues such as Sydney’s City Recital Hall, Staatsoper Hamburg - Opera Stabile, and Associació Cultural Sa Taronja.

She has worked in Australia and Europe with musicians and conductors including: Jean Thorel, John Lynch, Vincent Hardaker, Kalle Hakosalo, Bartłomiej Sutt, James Morley, Matt Withers, Andrzej Karałow, Pablo Sánchez-Escariche Gasch, Louise Mcclelland Jacobsen, Emma Ilona Mustaniemi, Sylvie Woods, Jacques Emery.

In addition to her tertiary studies, Milenko has attended international workshops and masterclasses as a composer and conductor. These include:

  • Hatched Academy with Ensemble Offspring (Australia 2018)

  • Dartington International Summer School (England 2018) where she is a recipient of the John Amis Award

  • Conductor’s Workshop with Jessica Cottis (England 2017) where she received a bursary from the Royal Philharmonic Society

  • Conductor’s workshop with Mark Shiell and Melbourne Youth Orchestras (Australia 2017)

  • Synthetis International Summer School for Composition (Poland 2016).

Kirsten-Milenko_MG_7188©Clique Photography Sydney.jpg

The cooperation of music and dance is very much to be praised. And composition is also a part of the choreography.
— [Concert Review] Gisela Sonnenburg; Ballett Journal MARCH 2017

I have long been interested in the architecture that music is capable of being. Movement when entwined with music is a subject of great fascination, both in the process of instrumental, vocal or electronic writing and also during external collaborations with choreographers and dancers. The potential that music holds to link an audience with both the seen and unseen worlds of human perception has been a great source of inspiration since I first began composing. To present the unknown in a way that entices both curiosity and gentleness of the human spirit is an image often present throughout my work.

There is poetry between a musician and their instrument which has led to the creation of an ongoing collection of electroacoustic work entitled the Artefact Series as a means of further exploring this phenomenon. This series of etudes explores sound and movement unconventional to the ears to uncover the voice unique to each musician. Recently I have incorporated compositions with light into the series, adding another dimension to the interplay of movement, sound and a definition of space.

Working with electronics over many years has greatly informed my approach to orchestration of concert music, whether for soloists, small or large ensembles, as the approach of refining minute details in the presence of a carefully constructed space is integral to both disciplines. Movement is a continual and foundational point of focus, greatly informing the structure and function of each piece.

May 2019

Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music
— Goethe