Member of the Performing Right Society and the Incorporated Society of Musicians
Dr Sasha Valeri Millwood is a musicologist, music theorist, and composer‐contrapuntist‐pianist who takes an intellectual approach to his diverse array of musical endeavours, utilising his élite education and research, both academic and vocational, to elucidate his artistic practice. Dissenting from the propensity to isolate the sub‐disciplines that comprise the art and science of music, Dr Millwood seeks to draw upon his various specialisms, from pitch‐class set theory and serialism to Classical improvisation and figured bass, to inform all of his work, whether it be academic writing, performing, accompanying, composing, transcribing, proof‐reading, teaching, or analysing manuscripts.
In particular, Dr Millwood considers the insights from his professional performing experience to be an integral facet of his compositional practice (notwithstanding the irony that he composes at a desk, and never at the pianoforte), and vice versa (whether he be performing a work written today or written centuries ago).
Dr Millwood is active both as a musician and as an academic. As a pianist, he is a prolific performer of new music, notably with the London New Wind Festival, a contemporary‐music ensemble with which he has played regularly since November 2019. He has also performed professionally as a harpsichordist, in which capacity he was engaged by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to give three world premières and a composition workshop in March 2018. His recent academic research is focussed on investigating contemporary compositional praxis in Western classical music, interrogating the affordances and limitations of archival papers, with a particular focus on the composer Thea Musgrave, the subject of his doctoral research, which was conducted under the joint auspices of the University of Glasgow and the British Library (Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Partnership). In addition to the thesis itself, outputs from this project include a pair of in‐depth interviews with Musgrave, the organisation and cataloguing of Musgrave papers in the British Library, and a chapter in the forthcoming edited volume Writing about Contemporary Musicians: Promotion, Advocacy, Disinterest, Censure. His undergraduate education was at Girton College, University of Cambridge, where he attained (with upper‑second‑class honours in each of the three parts of the Music Tripos) the degree of Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts. This was followed by postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he attained the degree of Master of Music (with Distinction) and undertook advanced studies at the Centre for Classical Improvisation and Creative Performance.