Keith Fitch currently heads the Composition Department and holds the Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair in Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he also directs the CIM New Music Ensemble. Called “gloriously luminous” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, his music has been consistently noted for its eloquence, expressivity, dramatic sense of musical narrative and unique sense of color and sonority. Reviewing a performance of his work Totem by Wolfgang Sawallisch and The Philadelphia Orchestra (chosen by Maestro Sawallisch to celebrate the orchestra’s centennial), The Wall Street Journal praised “the sheer concentration of his writing, and its power to express a complex, unseen presence shaping the course of musical events.” His works have been performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia by such ensembles as The Philadelphia Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, the Da Capo Chamber Players and new music ensembles around the country. Additionally, his music has been heard at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the June in Buffalo Festival, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and New York’s Carnegie and Merkin Halls. Highlights of recent seasons include the premieres of ’Tho Night Be Falling (commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation for the Colorado String Quartet); Midnight Rounds (written to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Da Capo Chamber Players); Mean Fiddle Summer, composed for the acclaimed violinist Lina Bahn; Knock on Wood for the harp/guitar duo of Yolanda Kondonassis and Jason Vieaux; Cascade, a fanfare commissioned by Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art for the inauguration of their new building; and In Memory, commissioned by the Orchestra of the League of Composers.
A native of Indiana, Fitch (b. 1966) began composing at age eight and began formal musical training on the double bass at age eleven. While still in high school (age sixteen), he received his first professional orchestral performance. Subsequently, he attended the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied composition with Frederick Fox, Eugene O’Brien and Claude Baker, double bass with Bruce Bransby and Murray Grodner and chamber music with Rostislav Dubinsky, founder of the Borodin Quartet. He also counts Donald Erb and Joan Tower among his compositional mentors. Among his many awards are three each from ASCAP and the National Society of Arts and Letters, an Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fromm Foundation Commission, a 2012 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council and a 2014 Copland House Residency Award. He has enjoyed multiple residencies at The MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as at The Charles Ives Center for American Music and the Atlantic Center for the Arts and he has twice served as Resident Composer and faculty at the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East. Highly regarded as a teacher, chamber music coach and conductor of new music, he has taught at Indiana University, Bard College and for eleven years served on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music in New York, where he founded the new music ensemble, CIRCE. His students regularly win awards from such prestigious organizations as ASCAP, BMI, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Fulbright Foundation, as well as attend leading summer festivals around the world. In June 2015, he joined the faculty at the Rocky Ridge Music Center as Composer-in-Residence. His music is published by Non Sequitur Music. www.keithfitch.com. He joined the CIM faculty in 2008.
Web site: www.keithfitch.com
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