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The British Cynthia Millar specializes in performing on the ondes Martenot, an electronic keyboard instrument invented in 1928 that can change its timbre through a filter and that is especially effective in playing glissandi. Millar studied piano with Philip Fowke and ondes Martenot with John Morton before completing her training on the latter instrument with Jeanne Loriod. Since then she has been concertizing around the globe playing works using the ondes Martenot, including Arthur Honegger’s oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, Edgard Varèse’s Ecuatorial, Olivier Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies, and, of course, his Turangalîla Symphony, which she has performed well over 100 times since she first played it in 1986 at the BBC Proms; in 2012 she also recorded the Messiaen. In the 2015-16 season Messiaen’s large-scale symphony was once again the focus of her work, with the performances with the Oslo Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Paris and on a European tour with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. Millar has appeared at such festivals as the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Edinburgh Festival. She has concertized with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Francisco and London Symphony Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and the Orchestre National de Lyon, collaborating with such conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Mariss Jansons, Kent Nagano, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Franz Welser-Möst. Millar, who herself is also an active composer, has recorded more than 100 film scores, including numerous works by Elmer Bernstein (whose Ondine at the Cinema she premiered in 2002 at Royal Albert Hall in London) and by Richard Rodney Bennett, Maurice Jarre, Henry Mancini, and Miklós Rózsa.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 2008 performing Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony with Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.