Tania Miller

Tania Miller. Conductor, b Foam Lake, Sask, 28 Aug 1969; B MUS (Saskatchewan) 1991, M MUS (Michigan) 1997, DMA (Michigan) 2000. Raised in the farming community of Foam Lake, Tania Miller began studying piano and organ at age eight, and by 13 was organist and choir conductor at her church.

Miller, Tania

Tania Miller. Conductor, b Foam Lake, Sask, 28 Aug 1969; B MUS (Saskatchewan) 1991, M MUS (Michigan) 1997, DMA (Michigan) 2000. Raised in the farming community of Foam Lake, Tania Miller began studying piano and organ at age eight, and by 13 was organist and choir conductor at her church. Although Miller had aspirations of a performance career, the onset of tendonitis in her late teens led her to enroll in piano performance and music education at the University of Saskatchewan in 1987. There she studied piano with Cécile Desrosiers, sang in the choir and played clarinet in the wind orchestra under Marvin Eckroth. From 1991 to 1995 she taught music in Outlook, Saskatchewan, and assisted at Saskatchewan Band Association workshops. At the University of Calgary's summer conducting program, Miller was encouraged by Robert Reynolds to attend the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. There she was awarded the Ernest T. Jones Conducting Scholarship in 1997 and completed doctoral studies in opera and orchestral conducting under Reynolds and Kenneth Keisler in 2000.

Early Conducting

Miller co-founded the Michigan Opera Works in 1997, directing student productions of Handel's Semele, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and Mozart's Così fan tutte until 2000, and was assistant conductor to Bruno Weil at California's Carmel Bach Festival 1997-2001. She was assistant music director for the contemporary opera Jackie O at the Banff Festival of the Arts in 1997, and in 1998 guest conducted the McGill Symphony Orchestra. She returned to Montreal to conduct Les Contes d'Hoffmann and Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera McGill in 2000 and 2001.

Major Conductorships

Supported by a Canada Council grant, in 2000 Tania Miller became assistant conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She quickly gained a reputation as one of Canada's promising young conductors, and was the orchestra's associate conductor 2003-4. She received critical praise for her guest debut with the Victoria Symphony in 2002, conducting Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony, and in May 2003 was named its permanent conductor. With that appointment, Miller became the youngest woman to lead a major Canadian orchestra. She made her first appearance as music director 3 Aug 2003 at Victoria's annual Inner Harbour concert.

Tania Miller made her debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as guest conductor in 2003, and has appeared with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal; the Saskatoon, Windsor and Winnipeg symphony orchestras; the National Youth Band of Canada; the Royal Conservatory Orchestra; and Toronto's ERGO ensemble, which she conducted at the A-Devantgarde new music festival in Munich in 2001. Increasingly in demand in the US and Europe, she has guest conducted the Oregon Symphony, the Toledo Symphony and the Seattle Youth Symphony, and in 2006 made her debut in Switzerland with the Berner Symphonie-Orchester.

In 2006 Tania Miller received the University of Saskatchewan's Alumni Honour Award and appeared with the CBC Radio Orchestra and rap musician K-OS in the CBC documentary Burning to Shine.


Further Reading

  • Barker, Deryk. "VSO grabs audience's attention with Shostakovich performance," Times-Colonist, 17 Feb 2003

    Griffen, Kevin. "Associate VSO conductor named Victoria director," The Vancouver Sun, 26 May 2003

    Gill, Alexandra. "Youthful conductor strikes up her own pace," Globe and Mail, 2 Aug 2003

    Eatock, Colin. "Scaling the podium: a new generation of Canadian conductors," Opus: Canada's Essential Classical Music Source, vol 26, no 3, Fall 2003

    Scott, Marianne. "Finding new rhythms: Maestra Tania Miller takes the stage," Green and White (University of Saskatchewan), Fall 2004

    Jordan, Robert. "Tania Miller: a new direction in Victoria," The Music Scene, vol 3, no 2, Winter 2005

    Hopkins, Mark. "Interview with Tania Miller," Canadian Winds, vol 8, no 1, Fall 2009