January 18, 2024

CIM composer Keith Fitch wins 2023 Composer Award from Ellis-Beauregard Foundation

A portrait of composer Keith Fitch at the piano with music.

The awards for CIM’s Keith Fitch just keep rolling in.  

The latest? Earlier this month, Fitch was named winner of the 2023 Composer Award from the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, a Maine-based nonprofit founded by visual artists Joan Beauregard and John David Ellis.  

The award includes a $50,000 commission for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, to be premiered in spring 2025, and a residency in Bangor and Rockland during the 2024-25 season. Fitch was selected for the honor from a pool of over 300 applicants.  

Fitch, head of composition at CIM and director of CIM’s New Music Ensemble, said he is thrilled and honored to receive the award and eager to pen a work for the intrepid and innovative Bangor Symphony Orchestra.  

“I’m delighted to write for an orchestra that demonstrates such an important and ongoing commitment to new music,” he said.  

The feeling is mutual. Lucas Richman, music director of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and a partner in the Ellis-Beauregard Composer Award process, said he will be eager to share Fitch’s piece with his community, and the world.  

“Keith Fitch writes dramatically evocative music,” Richman said. “I’m really looking forward to collaborating on a new work of his, which I’m sure will enchant our Maine audiences.” 

The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation is not the only prominent organization to honor Fitch of late, nor even the only one associated with visual art.  

Last April, Fitch was named a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow, a prestigious award that put him in company with previous winners Martha Graham, Aaron Copland, Philip Roth, and Thelonious Monk. His plan with that fellowship is to pen a work called Picasso’s Guitar, inspired by instruments in the paintings of Pablo Picasso.  

Both of these are in addition to Fitch’s many earlier honors, which include three ASCAP Young Composer Awards, three National Society of Arts and Letters awards, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Copland House Residency, and awards from the Indiana Arts Commission, Ohio Arts Council, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Fromm Foundation. 

He also has enjoyed many performances. In addition to presentations by ensembles at CIM and members of The Cleveland Orchestra, Fitch counts performances by The Philadelphia Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, among many others. 

For more information about Fitch, visit keithfitch.com. For more information about the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, visit ellis-beauregardfoundation.org.