Miller, Michael (Richard). Composer, pianist, b Lisbon 24 Jul 1932, naturalized Canadian 1972; BA (New York University) 1955, MA (ESM) 1956, PH D (ESM) 1971. He studied composition at the ESM with Bernard Rogers and Wayne Barlow. He taught at New York University 1961-5 and Vassar College 1965-6. He emigrated to Canada in 1967, began teaching piano, composition, and theory at Mount Allison University, and performed 1967-74 with the Mount Allison Trio. Miller has composed for choir, voice, piano, orchestra, and chamber ensemble. He employs various 20th-century techniques (pandiatonic, polytonal, modal, cross-rhythm, serial, aleatoric, though his works usually retain identifiable metre and tonality.
Miller's commissioned works include Song of the Woods (1979), a young persons' musical written for the Music Education Council of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association and the John Adaskin Project; and Quintet Equinox (1984) for strings and piano, written for the Brunswick String Quartet on the occasion of the bicentennial of New Brunswick. Around Alline (1989), a three-act opera on the effect of the American Revolution on the Maritimes, was given a concert premiere by the Music Dept of Mount Allison University in February 1990. Prayers for the Earth (1990) won second prize in a CFMTA competition for new anthems in 1991. Miller played his Flights from the Nest (1990) at Mount Allison University in February 1991. His War Music, a piano suite, includes short verses by the composer interspersed between the movements. He also wrote the texts of Prayers for the Earth and Around Alline.
Miller's works have frequently been broadcast by the CBC. The Kyrie and Gloria from his Mass for Peace (1962, Kalmus 1964) have been recorded (1973) by the Festival Singers (CBC SM-203). His Chord of Nature, commissioned by guitarist Michel Cardin (1985), appears on ACCA, a two-disc LP project of the Atlantic Canadian Composers' Association (1987). He is an associate of Canadian Music Centre and a member of CLComp and the Atlantic Canadian Composers' Association.