Cynthia Millar - ondes martenot

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Cynthia Millar studied the Ondes Martenot first with John Morton in England and later with Jeanne Loriod, who with her brother in law, Olivier Messiaen, has done so much to bring the instrument to a wider public. Since she first performed the Turangalila-Symphonie at the BBC Promenade Concerts in London with Mark Elder and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, she has performed well over one hundred performances of this work with many of the world’s leading orchestras. In November 2009 she gave her 100th performance with the Monte Carlo Orchestre Philharmonique under Yakov Kreitzburg. She has worked with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis, André Previn, Esa Pekka Salonen, Edo de Waart, Leonard Slatkin, Yan Pascal Tortelier, David Roberston, Kent Nagano, Franz Welser-Möst, Mark Wigglesworth, Mattias Bammert, Donald Runnicles, Ilan Volkov, Mariss Jansons, and Gustavo Dudamel. Her many performances have included appearances at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Edinburgh Festival and the Luzern Festival as well as regular appearances at the BBC Promenade Concerts, and with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco, St Louis and Cincinnati Symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, the Sydney, New Zealand and Singapore Symphonies, the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, CBSO, the BBC Orchestras, Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and Orquestra Sinfónica de Castilla y León. She has recently recorded Turangalila with the Bergen Symphony Orchestra for Hyperion.

Other repertoire includes Honegger’s Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher which in 2011 she performed in a series of concerts conducted by Marin Alsop at the Oregon Bach Festival and then with the Baltimore and London Symphony Orchestras; with Antonio Pappano and the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome; with David Robertson and the BBC Symphony Orchestra; with Libor Pešek and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the BBC Proms, and with David Zinman at the Aspen Festival; Varese Equatorial with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas, and Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies with the Cleveland Orchestra and George Benjamin, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Ludovic Morlot, the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms conducted by David Robertson and with the same orchestra at the Barbican conducted by Donald Runnicles. She has recorded this work with the London Sinfonietta and Terry Edwards on the Virgin Classics Label, and then again with the Netherlands Chamber Choir.

Cynthia Millar has played in over one hundred film and television scores, most notably for Elmer Bernstein (who encouraged her to learn the Ondes Martenot and for whom she also often recorded as piano soloist, notably in Far from Heaven), Richard Rodney Bennett, Maurice Jarre, Henry Mancini and Miklos Rozsa. She gave the world premiere of Elmer Benstein’s Ondine at the Cinema in a special concert to celebrate the composers’ 80th birthday with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, London. She also writes for film, television and theatre and her work in this field includes scores for films by Arthur Penn, Robert Wise, Martha Coolidge and Peter Yates.

2012/13 included performances of Turangalila with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Seattle Symphony and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. The current season includes Turangalila at the Luzern Festival, with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine and the London Symphony Orchestra, and Trois petites liturgies with the Orchestra of La Monnaie.

last updated Feb 10, 2014