Film & Concert Music

Rick's film credits include the award-winning PBS documentary “Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy”, and HBO’s “The Vagina Monologues” and “Life Afterlife”.


Rick Baitz composes for the moving image, the concert hall, dance and theater. Credits include HBO’s The Vagina Monologues (featuring vocalist Cathy Richardson), and HBO’s Life Afterlife, and the scores for several immersive museum installations, including 24 Hours That Changed History (2016) for the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, and three soundtracks for the recently-unveiled Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, with voice-overs by Oprah Winfrey. Other media credits include an episode of the web series We Speak NYC (2018), created by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; 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 Geoffrey Nauffts’ ground-breaking film Baby Steps, starring Kathy Bates.  Rick’s 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. Rick’s upcoming CD Into Light is scheduled for a spring-summer 2018 release on Innova Recordings, and will feature the string quartet Chthonic Dances, his percussion quartet with live electronics, Hall of Mirrors, commissioned by The Juilliard School, and other chamber works.

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 Musical Arts in Composition from Columbia University, and bachelors and masters from Manhattan School of Music. 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.