Rick Baitz composes chamber, electronic, vocal, orchestral, and film music, as well as music for theater and dance. His work has been performed at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Merkin Hall and The Cell. Innova Recordings recently released a highly-acclaimed CD of his electro-acoustic works, Into Light, which included the Juilliard-commissioned “Hall of Mirrors,” for percussion quartet and electronics, and his string quartet “Chthonic Dances.” Film score credits range from 2019’s award-winning documentary What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael, which premiered at NYC’s Film Forum on Christmas 2019, to HBO’s The Vagina Monologues and the National Geographic mini-series Heart of Africa, among many others. In 2016, Rick embarked upon a multi-year scoring project, composing soundtracks for several immersive installation pieces for the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, as well as the FDR Presidential Library. 

Strongly influenced by the music he heard growing up in Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, and Durban, South Africa, Rick received his DMA in Composition from Columbia University, where he studied with Mario Davidovsky and Jack Beeson, and his Bachelor’s and Master’s at Manhattan School of Music, where he worked with Elias Tanenbaum, Charles Wuorinen, and Ursula Mamlock. He is the recipient of multiple awards and grants, including a fellowship to Tanglewood, where he studied with George Perle, and several fellowships to the MacDowell and Yaddo artist colonies. 

In 2018 Rick began teaching Scoring to Picture and Advanced Composition at The Juilliard School; in the fall of of 2020 he will begin teaching Global Influences in Contemporary Music Production. From 2012 to 2016, Rick served as Chair of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ low-residency MFA in Music Composition program, where he remains active as a faculty member. He has also been Director of Composition Studies at Columbia College Chicago and continues as founding Director of BMI’s advanced film scoring workshop, “Composing for the Screen,” for which he received one of BMI’s highest honors, the 2018 Classic Contribution Award. 

Rick works out of his studio in New York City, Rick Baitz Music. He can be reached via his website


DMA - Composition | Columbia University

MM - Composition | Manhattan School of Music

BM - Composition | Manhattan School of Music

Selected work

John Mallia

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Carla Kihlstedt

Co-Chair, Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Michael Early

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Frank J. Oteri

Residency Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Andy Jaffe

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

John Fitz Rogers

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition