Rick Baitz composes for film, television, dance, theater and the concert stage. Recent screen credits include the feature documentary “Who Cares About Kelsey” (premiered at the 2012 Woodstock Film Festival), HBO’s “The Vagina Monologues” and “Life Afterlife”, the award-winning PBS documentary “Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy”, the Sundance-honored “The Education of Shelby Knox”, National Geographic’s acclaimed specials “The New Chimpanzees”, “Heart of Africa” and “Looters”; and Atom Films’ “Baby Steps”, starring Kathy Bates. His concert works have been performed across the US, Europe and Latin America, with his string quartet “Chthonic Dances”, premiered by the eminent ensemble ETHEL in 2011, 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.
In 2016, Rick composed the scores for three museum installation films: “Remembering Pearl Harbor”, for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum; “Emmett Till”, for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (scheduled to open in late 2017); and “Freedom Summer”, also for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. His CD, “Hall of Mirrors”, featuring Rick’s electroacoustic and chamber music, is scheduled for a 2017 release on Innova Recordings.
Raised in Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Durban, South Africa, Rick has worked as a deckhand on a dredger in Durban and a cabbie in New York City. He received his Doctorate of Music Arts in Composition from Columbia University. Formerly Faculty Chair of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Music Composition, he continues to teach at VCFA as founding faculty, and is Founding Director of BMI’s advanced New York-based film scoring workshop, “Composing for the Screen”. Rick composes, produces and teaches out of his studio in New York City.