Rick Baitz composes for screen, the concert stage, dance, theater, and recordings. A recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Tanglewood, and the Earle Hagan/BMI Film Scoring Workshop, he has been nominated for the American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters Music Award, a Grammy Award, and has won several Meet the Composer Awards.
Baitz composes extensively for film and television. Credits include 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, as well as Atom Films' Baby Steps, starring Kathy Bates. Also a concert composer, Baitz’s works have been performed across the United States, Europe, and Latin America. His Juilliard-commissioned quintet River of January won the Delius Composition Contest and was termed a "glowing jewel of a new score" by The New York Times.
Baitz has recently completed a large-scale string quartet to be premiered in spring 2011 by the renowned ensemble Ethel, and is working on a percussion quartet with live electronics for the Juilliard concert series Beyond the Machine. Baitz was raised in Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Durban, South Africa. He received his Doctorate in Composition from Columbia University in New York and Bachelors and Masters degrees from Manhattan School of Music. He has taught film scoring at Columbia College Chicago, where he was also Director of Composition Studies. He is currently Director of Composing for the Screen: A Film Scoring Mentorship Program, an advanced film scoring workshop sponsored by BMI in New York City.