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Anthony De Ritis




  • M. B. A. (2002), Northeastern University, Boston
  • MA Ph. D. (1997), University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley
  • CA Certificate d’Études (Summers 1991, 1992)
  • Écoles D’Art Américaines, Conservatoire de Musique, Fontainebleau, France M. M. (1992),Ohio University, Athens
  • B. A. (1990), Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Research Focus

  • Music composition
  • Symphonic literature
  • Design thinking
  • Creativity
  • Cultural diplomacy
  • Music and culture of China

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

Described as a “genuinely American composer” (Gramophone), “a visionary” (Audiophile Audition), and “bracingly imaginative” (The Boston Globe), Anthony Paul De Ritis has received performances nationally and internationally, including at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, Yale’s Woolsey Hall, Taipei’s Zhong Shan Hall, Beijing’s Yugong Yishan, Seoul’s KT Art Hall, the Italian Pavilion at the 2015 World Expo in Milan, and UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

De Ritis’ CD, Devolution, described as a “tour de force” (Gramophone) was released in June 2012 by the 6-time Grammy nominated Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) — Musical America’s 2016 “Ensemble of the Year” — under the baton of Gil Rose. Devolution features three of De Ritis’ symphonic works, Chords of Dust, Legerdemain, and Devolution: a Concerto for DJ and Symphony Orchestra featuring Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid as soloist.

In 2015, De Ritis’ Melody for Peace was performed as part of UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary celebrations by the Prague Concert Philharmonic in Paris; and his work Amsterdam was presented by the Hong Kong Philharmonic as part of its “Music, Science, and Technology” series of concerts at the Grand Hall of the University of Hong Kong, a performance that showcased maestro Jung-Ho Pak conducting with a Buchla Lightning wand controller in order to capture and manipulate the orchestra’s sound in real-time.

De Ritis’ second CD with BMOP, Pop Concerto (February 2017), lauded as “a major issue of American music” (Classical CD Review) presents four symphonic works: Amsterdam; Riflessioni for solo bassoon, orchestra, and electronics, featuring Patrick De Ritis, principal bassoonist of the Wien Symphoniker; Ballet for chamber orchestra and two pianos, featuring Vicky Chow and Saskia Lankhoorn (Duo X88); and Pop Concerto featuring world-renowned guitarist, Eliot Fisk, in four arrangements of songs by Seal, Alanis Morissette, U2, and Michael Jackson, crafted as a Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra.

In early 2018, Albany Records will publish Anthony Paul De Ritis: Electroacoustic Music eleven works that span a 25-year period of De Ritis’ output, including forwards by Marc Battier and Kyle Gann, and performances by Amy Advocat (Bohlen-Pierce clarinet), Orland Cela (flute), Vicky Chow (piano), Hu Jianbing (sheng), Jennifer Hymer (kalimba), Gamin Kang (piri), Lin Zhantao (erhu), Bill Lowe (trombone), Min Xiao-Fen (pipa), Patrick Owen (cello), and Demetrius Spaneas (saxophone).

De Ritis often works with Chinese traditional instruments. The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, where De Ritis was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Fall 2011, published his Selected Works for Pipa (2016) featuring compositions premiered by pipa virtuosi Min Xiao-Fen, Wu Man, and Yu Yuanchun. De Ritis’ third CD with BMOP (in progress) will feature all of his orchestral works for Chinese traditional instruments and Western orchestra, including The Legend of Cowherd and Weaver Girl, a percussion concerto for Wang Beibei. De Ritis was appointed as a “Special Professor” of the China Conservatory of Music’s new Beijing Advanced Innovation Center (October 2016) along with musical luminaries Placido Domingo, Zubin Mehta, Lang Lang, and Tan Dun. De Ritis is also on the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Global Media and China published by SAGE in collaboration with the Communications University of China. He was the guest editor of the special issue “The Media and Entertainment Industry: The World and China” (Volume 1, Issue 4: December 2016).

De Ritis completed his Ph.D. in Music Composition at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied with Richard Felciano and Jorge Liderman, and served as an affiliate researcher and teaching assistant to David Wessel at Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) (1992-1997). He received his M.M. in Electronic Music Composition from Ohio University under Mark Phillips (1990-1992), and his B.A. in Music with a concentration in Business Administration from Bucknell University, studying composition under William Duckworth, Jackson Hill and Kyle Gann, and philosophy with Richard Fleming (1986-1990). De Ritis engaged in summer study at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, under Phillipe Manoury, Tristan Murail, and Gilbert Amy (1991, 1992), the University of Southern California (1990), and New York University (1989); and holds a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in high-tech from Northeastern University (2002). In 2006 De Ritis received the Distinguished Alumni Award by the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University.

2017-18 represents De Ritis’ 20th year at Northeastern University, where he is Professor and former Chair (2003-2015) of the Music Department in the College of Arts, Media and Design, with courtesy appointments in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (D’Amore-McKim School of Business), and Asian Studies (College of Social Sciences and the Humanities).

Courses Taught

  • MUS U125: 20th Century Music
  • MUSC 1009: (Virtual) Introduction to Art, Drama, and Music
  • MUSC 1115: Debussy and the Music of Paris
  • MUSC 1119: Fundamentals of Western Music Theory
  • MUSC 1136: What’s Playing at Symphony?
  • MUSC 1201: Music Theory 1
  • MUSI 2540: Studies in Music Industry: Research and Innovation
  • MUST 2320: Sound Design
  • MUST 3422: Music Composition Seminar
  • BUSN 6288: Arts-Based Learning for Managers
  • BUSN 6293: Design Thinking for Market-Driven Innovation
  • ENTR 6221: Managing Creativity for Entrepreneurs (Seattle)
  • HONR 1204: Inquiries in Arts and Humanities
  • HONR 1208: Comparative Arts
  • HONR 1310: Managing Creativity for Innovation
  • HONR 3310: Hearing the Movies