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Rick Baitz

New York, NY      

Rick Baitz composes for multiple platforms, from the concert stage to film, dance, and theater. His concert works have been performed across the US, Europe and Latin America, with his string quartet “Chthonic Dances” described as “a bright-hued, vigorously melodic score” by the New York Times. His Juilliard-commissioned quintet “River of January” won multiple awards, including the Delius Composition Contest, and was termed a “glowing jewel of a new score” — also by the NY Times. Rick’s percussion quartet with live electronic processing, “Hall of Mirrors,” was commissioned for the Juilliard School’s “Beyond The Machine” concert series, and premiered in March 2015. Current projects include a solo violin piece, also with electronics, for acclaimed violinist Cornelius Dufallo, and the score to the feature documentary “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kale,” screening in 2018/19 to reviewer acclaim in film festivals from Telluride to Berlin.

Other film credits include HBO’s “The Vagina Monologues” and “Life Afterlife,” the feature documentary “Who Cares About Kelsey,”the Sundance-honored “The Education of Shelby Knox,” and National Geographic’s acclaimed specials “The New Chimpanzees” and “Heart of Africa.”  Raised in Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Durban, South Africa, Rick has worked as a deckhand on a dredger in Durban and a cab driver in New York City. He received his DMA in Composition from Columbia University, and Bachelors and Masters from Manhattan School of Music. Rick is former Faculty Chair of the renowned MFA in Music Composition at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he remains on the faculty and mentors in contemporary composition, film scoring, songwriting, jazz composition and electronic music.  He is also Director of BMI’s advanced film music workshop, “Composing for the Screen,” in New York City, and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School.

 Rick composes and teaches out of his studio in Manhattan. He can be reached via his website, www.rickbaitz.com; and his email, rick@rickbaitz.com.

Articles by Rick Baitz:

NewMusicBox January 29 2018 | By Rick Baitz
The Genesis of a Return to Concert Music

It was not really that much of a leap for me, soon after completing my DMA at Columbia, to move into film composition. When I returned to concert music after...

NewMusicBox January 22 2018 | By Rick Baitz
Becoming Real

Through trial and error—and a lot more error—I’ve found a few rules that have helped me carry on in the music business. I try to limit my activity to three...

NewMusicBox January 16 2018 | By Rick Baitz
Tearing Down The Wall

All of us, as composers, have origin stories. If you’re like me, it may have been a series of revelatory moments, like an unseen hand guiding you down a path—to...

NewMusicBox January 8 2018 | By Rick Baitz
Requited Music: Anatomy of a Scoring Gig

In July 2016, I received a call from Monadnock Media asking if I’d be interested in scoring one of their short films intended for the soon-to-be-opened museum. Monadnock’s style was...