Sasha Valeri Millwood, born 07/04/1992, is currently studying for part II of the Music Tripos at Girton College, University of Cambridge, having gained upper‑second‑class honours in parts IA and IB. Prior to his matriculation at the University in 2010, he studied for seven years at the Royal College of Music Junior Department.
Millwood has written music since 1997, and commenced formal lessons, with Clement Power, in 2004. In 2008, he came Highly Commended in both the BBC Proms Young Composers’ Competition and the Royal College of Music Junior Department’s Joan Weller Composition Competition. He was selected for the 2010 National Youth Orchestra Composers’ Course, resulting in public performances of two new works written for members of the orchestra.
Introverted both as a composer and as a person, Millwood is exploring his fascination for quantitative methods (such as dodecaphony, isorhythmic systems, set‑class theory, and Golden ratios) of (pre‐)composition, whilst striving to maintain a musicality to his gestures, and is currently taught by Giles Swayne.
Although Millwood writes in highly dissonant and largely atonal idioms, he is a strong advocate for the importance of the rigourous technique developed by traditional harmony and counterpoint, so he is also studying, under the supervision of Dr Martin Ennis, for the four‑hour fugue paper.
Millwood has experience of composing in a variety of contexts, including concert music, incidental music, dance music, electronic music, and theatre music. In London, his works have been performed in venues including the Southbank Centre, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Ballet School, The Place, and Blüthner Showrooms. In Cambridge, his works have been performed in West Road Concert Hall, Madingley Hall, King’s College Chapel, St John’s College, Queens’ College, and of course Girton College. Venues elsewhere to have hosted performances of his works include The Sage Gateshead, Birmingham Town Hall, and Snape Maltings Concert Hall (near Aldeburgh, Suffolk).
Millwood has studied pianoforte since 1997, and is currently taught by Matthew Schellhorn. Whilst Millwood was unsuccessful in his application for a University instrumental award (albeit reaching the final round of auditions), he was awarded the Girton College performance scholarship in 2010, and one of the College’s Daphne Bird instrumental exhibitions in 2011 and 2012. He is active as a solo pianist and accompanist, and has had the privilege to perform alongside many of the distinguished music fellows at Girton College, including the tenors Andrew Kennedy and Nicholas Mulroy.
Whilst at Cambridge, he has also found himself called upon to perform on other keyboard instruments, including harpsichord, chamber organ, and harmonium.
Millwood plays a wide repertoire, ranging from Bach to the twenty‑first century. In 2010, he was awarded the Constance Poupard Prize for his contribution to the performance of student compositions at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. He has experience of playing pianoforte in a variety of contexts, including recitals, chamber music, theatre pit bands, and concerti. In 2013, he won the Alkan competition hosted by Fitzwilliam College (Cambridge).
Venues at which Millwood has performed include the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall (Royal College of Music, London), the Wigmore Hall (London), Blüthner Showrooms (London), West Road Concert Hall (Cambridge), King’s College Chapel (Cambridge), and of course Girton College (Cambridge).
Millwood has studied violin since 2000, and is currently taught by John Gillow. Most of his performing experience on violin is as an orchestral player, in which capacity he is in frequent demand in Cambridge’s lively music scene, and beyond. He is a long‐standing member of the Cambridge University Musical Society Symphony Orchestra (CUMSSO) and Cambridge University String Ensemble (CUSE).
Millwood has also played in smaller ensembles, including the Cambridge University New Music Ensemble.
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