Head, Composition Department; Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair in Composition; Director, CIM New Music Ensemble.
Keith Fitch currently 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. His works have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan by such ensembles as The Philadelphia Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, 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 such festivals as the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and June in Buffalo, and in New York’s Carnegie and Merkin Halls, among many other locales. 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); and Mean Fiddle Summer, composed for the acclaimed violinist Lina Bahn. The 2012-13 season brought the premieres of 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 opening of their new building; and In Memory, commissioned by the League of Composers Orchestra (NY).
A native of Indiana, Keith Fitch began composing at age eight and began formal musical training on the double bass at age eleven. While still in high school, he received his first professional orchestral performance. 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/National Endowment for the Arts, a Fromm Foundation Commission, and a 2012 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. He has enjoyed multiple residencies at The MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others, 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 attending leading summer festivals around the world. His music is published by Non Sequitur Music.
Web site: www.keithfitch.com
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