Zachary James Ritter is a composer who wants to work with you. Driven by making music with his friends and making friends with his music, Ritter strives to create works that resonate with his audience through shared human experience. His music takes influence from electronica, minimalism, and traditional music of Ireland and America. Ritter sometimes uses layered textures with playfully unpredictable rhythms, as well as spare, raw musical landscapes which lend themselves to calm, meditative listening experiences. He likes to make music people want to listen to, music made in sincerity.
Ritter earned his BA in Music and was awarded highest departmental honors for his composition portfolio from Binghamton University where he studied composition with Dr. Daniel Thomas Davis and voice with Professor Mary Burgess. He is now pursuing a Master’s degree in classical composition at Purchase Conservatory. He has collaborated with Modern Medieval, Momenta Quartet, Yarn/Wire, Roomful of Teeth, the Binghamton University Symphony Orchestra, and many talented and esteemed students and faculty at Binghamton University.
In the summer of 2017, he was accepted into Binghamton University’s Summer Scholars and Artists Program, studying traditional Irish vocal practice with Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek. This experience led to the creation of Upon all the living and the dead, a three-movement work for baritone and chamber orchestra, which Contemporaneous premiered with Ritter in January 2018. This also led Ritter to attend a seminar led by Iarla Ó Lionáird on the Irish song tradition at Princeton University.
Ritter’s upcoming projects include Ghost Apples, a new work for chamber orchestra premiering at the May 7th Purchase New Music concert, Tarnish, a piece for solo viola and a set of piano miniatures which will premiere on his first Masters recital on April 30th. He will also be attending the Fresh Inc Festival, The Seal Bay Festival, and Choral Chameleon’s Summer Institute.