The premiere of The Legend of Cowherd and Weaver Girl, Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, April 21, 2018


“a genuinely American composer... whose music lies rooted in its determination to meld science with humanity”

Described as a “genuinely American composer” (Gramophone) and “an eclectic whose works draw on popular and electronic music” (Wall Street Journal), Anthony Paul De Ritis has received performances around the world including at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Lincoln Center, Beijing’s Yugong Yishan, Seoul’s KT Art Hall, the Italian Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan, and UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

De Ritis’s 2012 release Devolution with the GRAMMY® Award-winning Boston Modern Orchestra Project and BMOP/sound, was described as a “tour de force” (Gramophone), and features three of De Ritis’ symphonic works, Chords of Dust, Legerdemain, and Devolution: a Concerto for DJ and Symphony Orchestra featuring Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky as soloist. His Pop Concerto (BMOP/sound, 2017) featuring Eliot Fisk was lauded by Classical CD Review as “a major issue of American music,” and his Electroacoustic Music – In Memoriam: David Wessel (Albany Records, 2018) as “sometimes whimsical and sometimes stark, and always interesting” (CD HotList). His third album on BMOP/sound (June 2023) features five of De Ritis’s orchestral works for Chinese traditional instruments and symphony orchestra: Zhongguo Pop for Chinese Quartet and String Orchestra; Ping-Pong, Concerto for Pipa, featuring soloist Min Xiao-Fen; The Legend of Cowherd and Weaver Girl, Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, featuring soloist Beibei Wang; Plum Blossoms, and Chang’E and the Elixir of Immortality.

In 2015, De Ritis’s Melody for Peace was performed as part of UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary celebrations by the Prague Concert Philharmonic in Paris, and his work Amsterdam, which featured maestro Jung-Ho Pak controlling a Buchla Lightning wand controller manipulating the orchestra’s sound in real-time, was presented by the Hong Kong Philharmonic as part of its “Music, Science, and Technology” showcase at the Grand Hall, University of Hong Kong.

De Ritis was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China (2011) who later published his Selected Works for Pipa (2016), is appointed as a “Special Professor” in the China Conservatory of Music’s “Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Chinese National School of Music” (2016), and is on the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Global Media and China published by SAGE in collaboration with the Communications University of China, where he guest edited the special issue “The Media and Entertainment Industry: The World and China” (Volume 1, Issue 4: December 2016).

In 2018 De Ritis expanded his research and practice on the musical instruments of East Asia, with a residency at the International Gugak Center in Seoul, Korea, and a performance of his work Kamelle-on for Saenghwang and 4-speaker audio featuring virtuoso Gamin Kang at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Daegu, Korea. This builds upon his original music for KYOPO: Multiplicity (2012) conceived by Korean visual artist CYJO and at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., a project that explores the different facets of cross-cultural identity.

In Summer 2023, the Cassatt String Quartet will premiere his new work Passion’s Continuum at the Seal Bay Festival, several movements for string quartet inspired by selected lines of poetry from his father, Paul Anthony De Ritis (1922-2000). And De Ritis continues his work setting eclectic and dramatic settings of Lillian-Yvonne Bertram’s book of poetry Travesty Generator, winner of the Poetry Society of America’s 2020 Anna Rabinowitz Prize for Interdisciplinary Work, and supported by a Boston Foundation “Live Arts Boston” (LAB 2021) grant. Travesty Generator uses algorithmic approaches to generating poetry, and deals with several subjects related to race and social justice.

De Ritis completed his Ph.D. in Music Composition at the University of California, Berkeley (1997), where he served as a teaching assistant to David Wessel at Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). He received his M.M. in Electronic Music Composition from Ohio University (1992) under Mark Phillips, and his B.A. in Music with a concentration in Business Administration from Bucknell University (1990). De Ritis engaged in summer study at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, under Philippe Manoury, Tristan Murail, and Gilbert Amy (1991, 1992), and also holds a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in high-tech from Northeastern University (2002).

De Ritis is co-founder of the music technology program at Northeastern University in Boston, where he is Professor and former Chair of the Music Department (2003-2015); and is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Electronic Music Foundation Institute.

Headshot Photos By Wang Aobo

“With artists like Busoni, or what someone like Russolo was trying to do with ‘The Art of Noises,’ there’s this whole issue of thinking about why composition needs renewal. I think that’s what Anthony is thinking about.”

Paul D. Miller, a.k.a., DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, BPM Culture Magazine

Matthew Guerrieri, The Boston Globe

“Mozart and Bach, they were very cosmopolitan composers. They didn’t decide not to use a tune because it was too folk-like. That’s the tradition in concert music: to be a survey of the whole culture. For De Ritis, that goal is part of the artist’s responsibility. ‘What’s crucial to me as an American composer,’ he says, ‘is to reflect what’s happening around me.’”