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, as well as interdisciplinary projects involving 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.
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 Concentration (jazz piano, voice and composition) 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 by Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Emanuele Arciuli, California EAR Unit, Zeitgeist, Citywinds, New Century Players, Oregon Repertory Singers, Grace Cathedral Men's Choir, and Joan La Barbara, among others.
Ann Millikan is a recipient of the 2010 McKnight Composer Fellowship. These prestigious awards are meant to acknowledge excellence in the field of music composition and to support composers who have reached a critical point in their career development. She has also garnered awards from the 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 new album of orchestral works, "Ballad Nocturne" featuring Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra and pianist Emanuele Arciuli, and her debut album, "The Music of Ann Millikan Featuring the California EAR Unit" are both available on Innova Recordings.