James Ricci (b. 1954 in NYC) has composed a collection of compelling works for solo, chamber, vocal, and orchestral combinations.
He studied in Boston at the Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, and at Brandeis University with Donald Martino, Martin Boykan, and Harold Shapero. He also participated in diverse seminars and master classes in Europe and the United States with composers György Ligeti, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Earle Brown, Jacob Druckman, Ralph Shapey, Betsy Jolas, Sylvano Bussotti, Anthony Payne, Milton Babbitt and Elliott Carter. He obtained fellowships to attend Indiana University Composer's Forum, the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Music, and in Europe on a Sacher grant (Brandeis University).
As co-director of the LUMEN Contemporary Music Ensemble Ricci curated a series of successful concerts of new music for both concert and educational settings.
His “To the Solar Winds” was commissioned by the Arlington Arts Council and premiered by the Solar Winds Woodwind Quintet.
A collection of his music for piano has been released by David Holzman for Albany Records (TROY1875).
George Grella of NY Classical Review wrote regarding his NYC premiere of Intermezzo, “Ricci explained that he took an intuitive approach to writing the music, exploring the pathways of his subconscious and the sound of the piano. It initially presents itself as an atonal work, but quickly and smoothly becomes the fundamentally romantic reverie of Ricci’s technical approach. The music seems to sound just the way it should and, in Holzman’s performance, was completely absorbing.”
New Music Connoisseur described Ricci’s Sonatina for Solo Viola as “…cleverly expressed, while the string writing is emotive, showy, and telling - a fine listen.”
Ricci’s music was nominated three times for an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his String Quartet (1984) - a work that won mention in the 1985 Boston League-ISCM Competition - has been recorded by the QX String Quartet for future commercial release.
Ricci's album of piano music titled "Musical Connections" was released in September of 2021. It features Grammy-nominated pianist David Holzman. It is available on the Albany Records label (TROY1875).
Two new works by Ricci for orchestra - Rune and Night Music - were composed at the beginning of the pandemic. They were recorded by Filharmonie Brno (Czech Republic) for Ablaze Records and conducted by Mikel Toms. The recording will be released in the fall of 2022 under the title "Orchestral Masters" (Ablaze AR-00068).
In Boston Ricci held a position of Assistant Professor of Composition at the Berklee College of Music. He now resides in Chapel Hill, NC.
His work is published by Universal Edition (UE) and affiliated with BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.).
Contact: james (dot) ricci (at) gmail
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Webpage last updated on April 10th, 2022