Cynthia Millar played the Ondes Martenot on Bryan Ferry's As Time Goes By album. She studied the Ondes Martenot first with John Morton in England and later with Jeanne Loriod, who with her brother in law, Olivier Messiaen, has done so much to bring the instrument to a wider public. In the twelve years since Cynthia Millar performed the Turangalila-Symphonie at the BBC Promenade Concerts in London with Mark Elder and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, she has given more the forty performances of this work with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, André Previn, and Mark Wigglesworth. She has also performed in the premieres in Scotland and in Singapore, and in 1996, she played in the first performances in Los Angeles for more than twenty years with Esa Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. She has recently performed the work with David Robertson conducting the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, New York and at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, with Edo de Waart conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and with Mark Wigglesworth conducting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
She has also performed Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake with David Robertson and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and with David Zinman at the 1997 Aspen Festival. She has recorded Messiaen's Trois petites liturgies with the London Sinfonietta and Terry Edwards on the Virgin Classics Label.
Her work as a performer in over one hundred film and television scores, for composers including Elmer Bernstein, Richard Rodney Bennett, Maurice Jarre, Henry Mancini and Miklos Rozsa, was Cynthia Millar's introduction to the world of film music. In the last few years she has written a number of film scores herself, including the music for Arthur Penn's 'The Portrait' starring Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall; Martha Coolidge's 'Three Wishes' and Peter Yates's 'The Run of the Country'. For television she composed the music for a major documentary series 'Stephen Hawking's Universe' for WNET. Her most recent film scores include Jason Freeland's 'Brown's Requiem', which features the Ondes Martenot and was premiered at the London Film Festival, and 'A Storm in Summer' directed by Robert Wise.
Future engagements include Turangalila with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington.
"The performance was remarkable for the outstandingly poetic and sensitive manipulation of the Ondes Martenot by Cynthia Millar, who revealed unsuspected nuances and subtleties." Michael Kennedy, The Daily Telegraph
"Cynthia Millar made the wailing of the Ondes Martenot more seductive than I have ever known in this work, softening the electronic edge and giving the sound surprising purity." Edward Greenfield, The Guardian