Music for the Concert Stage and for Media

Rick's concert music includes "Music For A Sacred Space", featured on his 2024 CD release River of January. His film credits include the award-winning documentary “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael” and HBO’s “The Vagina Monologues”.

All music by Rick Baitz; all rights reserved.


Rick Baitz was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised there and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Durban, South Africa. He composes for a wide range of platforms, from concert music to media scoring, theatre, and dance. Among Rick’s concert works are the electro-acoustic River of January, commissioned by The Juilliard School in New York, winner of the Delius Composition Contest and deemed “a glowing jewel of a new score” by the New York Times (and featured both in the 1993 and 2023 ISCM World New Music Days Festivals). Rick’s well-regarded album of electro-acoustic chamber pieces, Into Light, released on the Innova label in 2018, includes his string quartet Chthonic Dances, his percussion quartet with live electronics, Hall of Mirrors, and the eponymous trio, Into Light. Most recently, his quintet (also with electronics) Music For A Sacred Space, was premiered at Juilliard’s “Future Stages” concert series, and has just been released on Neuma Records, along with River of January.

Among Rick’s media credits are the award-winning documentary What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018), HBO’s The Vagina Monologues (featuring Jefferson Starship vocalist Cathy Richardson), plus scores for several immersive museum installations, including 24 Hours That Changed History 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 the Sundance-honored The Education of Shelby Knox, National Geographic’s acclaimed specials The New Chimpanzees, Heart of Africa and Stolen Treasures; plus Geoffrey Nauffts’ ground-breaking film Baby Steps, starring Kathy Bates. Most recently, Rick scored I’ll Be Seein’ Ya, a play for the digital stage, written by Jon Robin Baitz, commissioned by the LA’s Center Theatre Group, and filmed for on-line viewing in 2022.

In 2018 Rick was honored with BMI’s “Classic Contribution Award” in recognition of his years as Founding Director of their workshop “Composing For The Screen: A Film Scoring Mentorship Program.” He has been a Tanglewood Fellow (where he studied with George Perle); and held multiple fellowships to MacDowell, Yaddo, The Millay Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Edward Albee Foundation. He holds a Bachelors and Masters of Music from Manhattan School of Music (where he studied with Elias Tanenbaum, Charles Wuorinen and Ursula Mamlock) and a DMA from Columbia University (where he studied with Jack Beeson and Mario Davidovsky). He also was accepted as a Fellow to BMI’s Earle Hagan Film Scoring Workshop; years later he was asked by BMI to teach “Composing for the Screeen”, which he helmed from 2008 to 2020. Currently on the faculties of The Juilliard School and Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he is former Chair of Composition, in his younger years Rick worked as a deckhand on a dredger in Durban Harbour, South Africa, and as a cab driver in New York Cty. Rick composes and teaches out of his studio in Manhattan.