-- Vermont College of Fine Arts Names Rick Baitz Faculty Chair, MFA in Music Composition --

Sep 10, 2012, 11:43 ET from Vermont College of Fine Arts

MONTPELIER, Vt., Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), a national center for graduate education in the fine arts, announced today that noted composer Rick Baitz has been named Faculty Chair for its Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition program. Baitz assumed his new position as of September 1, 2012.

A recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Tanglewood Music Center, and the Earle Hagan/BMI Film Scoring Workshop, Baitz has been nominated for the American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters Music Awards and has won several Meet the Composer Awards

"I am thrilled, humbled and excited to be asked to helm this exciting program," said Baitz. "I look forward to its continued emergence as a world-renowned center for music composition."

"We're gratified to have someone of Rick Baitz' caliber leading our pioneering MFA in Music Composition, " said Matthew Monk, VCFA's Academic Dean. "His national reputation, professional stature and outstanding commitment to teaching have already proven to be tremendous assets for the program."

Baitz composes for concert stage, film, dance, theater and world music recordings. His 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 New York Times.  

Recent film credits include the feature documentary "Who Cares About Kelsey" (to premiere at the 2012 Woodstock Film Festival), 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"; and Atom Films' "Baby Steps", starring Kathy Bates

Raised in Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Durban, South Africa, Baitz has worked as a deckhand on a dredger in Durban, a cabbie in New York City, and an expert witness in legal cases involving music.  He received his DMA in Composition from Columbia University.  Formerly Director of Composition Studies at Columbia College Chicago. he is currently Director of BMI's advanced film scoring workshop, "Composing for the Screen", in New York City.

Baitz also composes, produces and teaches out of his studio in New York City. He can be reached via his web site, www.rickbaitz.com.  

About Vermont College of Fine Arts …

Vermont College of Fine Arts is a national center for graduate education in the fine arts, fostering the excellence of emerging and established artists, while advancing the arts to create a more humane world. It is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), offering the Master of Fine Arts degree in writing, visual art, music composition and graphic design. More information is available at www.vcfa.edu.

Lyn Chamberlin


SOURCE Vermont College of Fine Arts