Cassandra Miller (1976) is a Canadian composer living in London, and is Associate Head of Composition (Undergrad) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her present work involves direct and personal collaboration with solo musicians, engaging in embodied research related to non-notated collaborative practices and the place of voice and body in creative processes. Her notated compositions for ensembles and orchestras explore the transcription of pre-existing music as a way to translate its musicality/vocality into another experience.
Teaching takes a central role in her artistic life, holding the faculty position at Guildhall since September 2018. Her teaching philosophy prioritizes inclusivity and diversity, and questions canonization. Previously, she taught composition modules at the University of Huddersfield (2014-16) and the University of Victoria (2008-09).
She twice received the Jules-Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, Canada’s highest honour for composition, for Bel Canto in 2011 and About Bach in 2016. Her concerto written for the cellist Charles Curtis with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra was hailed as an ‘unexpected highlight of the festival’ (TEMPO).
Her works are often written with specific performers in mind, involving their intimate participation in the creative process. Her closest collaborators in this fashion have included soprano Juliet Fraser, the Quatuor Bozzini, conductor Ilan Volkov, cellist Charles Curtis, pianist Philip Thomas, violinist Silvia Tarozzi and violinist Mira Benjamin. Pieces written expressly for them have been toured and performed across the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Norway, Uruguay, the United States and Canada.