What Rick is up to…

All music by Rick Baitz; all rights reserved.


Rick’s album River of January released on Neuma Records May 2024

The album consists of Rick’s electro-aoustic quintet River of January, featuring flutist Erin Lesser, violinist Jennifer Choi, cellist Yves Dhar, percussionist David Cossin, and keyboard player Geoffrey Burleson; “Music for a Sacred Space”, premiered at The Juilliard School and featuring solo violinist Cornelius Dufallo; “Dark Fire”, a violin and cello duo featuring Choi and Dhar; and “Two Poems for Flute & Alto Flute Solo”, wtih Erin Lesser on flutes. River of January is now available on bandcamp, Amazon, and the Neuma Records website – and on all streaming services begining May 17. 

Rick’s previous electro-acoustic chamber album, Into Light – as well as his soundtracks to the films Who Cares About Kelsey and What She Said: The Art Of Pauline Kael – are also available on all platforms.

Rick returns to South Africa to perform “River of January” – December 2023


 After several decades, Rick returned to South Africa, where he’d spent time during his formative years, to perform “River of January” in Cape Town as part of the World New Music Days Festival. The 10-day long Festival, sponsored by the International Society of Contemporary Music, takes place in a different country each year; this was the 100-year Centenary celebration of the WNMD. “River of January” was brought back as a returnee to the Festival, having been last performed at the 1993 WNMD in Mexico City. This performance took place on Dec. 1 at the Youngblood Gallery in Cape Town, with an ensemble of stellar South African musicians. 

“Music For A Sacred Space” premiered at The Juilliard School

“Music For A Sacred Space”, commissioned by violinist Cornelius Dufallo, was produced by and premiered at Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts, as part of its 2022 Future Stages festival. The piece featured  Dufallo on sol0 violin, accompanied by Audrey Chen on cello; Will Hopkins and Jakob Schoenfeld on percussion; Yoon Lee on piano; and fixed media by Rick Baitz. Soon after the premier in March 2022, the players returned to the recording studio for the CD version heard on Rick’s new album, River of January.

“I’ll Be Seein’ Ya” scored by Rick Baitz

“I’ll Be Seein’ Ya”, a full-length play written for the Digital Stage by Jon Robin Baitz, was produced by Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group in 2022; Rick composed the incidental music. Starring Christine Lahti and Justin Kirk, the play was filmed on the stage of the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and treated cinematically. The play was streamed to the public in the spring of 2022. (See musical excerpt on Portfolio page.)

Rick is faculty at The Juilliard School and Vermont College of Fine Arts

Rick currently teaches “Scoring to Picture” at the Juilliard Extension division – now offered on Monday evenings in the Fall and Spring Semesters. Please contact the Extension Division office for more info.

Rick remains a core faculty member of VCFA’s progressive low-residency MFA program in Music Composition.  VCFA offers mentorship in contemporary composition, music for media, jazz composition, electronic music and songwriting. VCFA has now entered into a partnership with California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts); starting January 2025, the VCFA’s bi-annual residencies will take place on Cal Arts’ Santa Clarita, California campus.

Other news…

May 1, 2024 marked the seven-year anniversary of Rick’s move from midtown Manhattan, where he had studios for some 20 years, to 137th and Riverside, where he has much more space and windows that look out on Riverside Park.  He loves the energy of the neighborhood, which is both incredibly vibrant and chill at the same time, the room for his library and instrument collection, the proximity to home, the surrounding arts community, and the space to compose, produce, practice and teach. He wrote, realized the electronics, edited and mixed “Music For A Sacred Space” there; practiced the Yamaha DX7 part for his recent performance of  “River of January”, and is starting a new piece. Stay tuned…