Work samples

  • Musical collaboration for A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • 20 Trees
    Twenty Trees - Lyrical and romantic
  • Eric Normaled2.mp3
    Eric -
  • Viviana.mp3
    Viviana - mysterious and evocative...

About Robert

Baltimore County
Robert Hitz is a composer, pianist, and master teacher. He is the quintessential modern artist – his music spans genres and influences, and is open to all great musical ideas. Although classically trained at the Peabody Institute and Syracuse University, Robert began playing and composing through improvisation.
 
“Passion permeates his music – powerful” (L. Billingsly, RSI). Whether in live concert or his recordings, Robert is an engaging and lyrical performer. He… more

Preparing for New Recordings

Most of my music is created through improvisation, and I’ve been composing and performing new pieces over the past several years. As I review the new work, I recognize I have a body of work suitable for a recording, and I also have several compositions to be released as singles. Hearing these new pieces, audiences have requested recordings of them — so it is time to get that done. Two solo recordings are my primary goal for the coming year.
 
The one piece I’m most excited about came to me in a dream while I was on a cruise with my father. It repeated in my head all night long, and in the morning I raced to write it down before we disembarked. Perhaps because we met a beautiful Latina on this trip, the piece is a yet unnamed Cancion. I'm also proud of the piece commissioned by Johns Hopkins University for the virtual alumni awards ceremony. The piece is called True Blue.

In recent years I've composed music as a wedding gift for several nephews, a cousin, and a former student. Each captures something of the character of each couple, and holds a romantic theme. Stay tuned for new recordings...

  • Robert at the piano.jpg
  • A Wedding Song: for Keegan and Annie

    A wedding gift for my nephew Keegan and his bride Annie.

  • Cancion Story and Performance
    Sample of new composition and the story behind it.

Opening the Red Door to Touring

I came up with a concept for a project integrating paintings, audience discussion, and improvised music, and decided to call it The Red Door is Open. I proposed the idea to Kimberley Lynne at University of Baltimore and she loved it. So we invited artists Maxine Taylor and Jessica Daemen to bring their paintings, and Kimberley jumped in to moderate the discussion. The response from audience members and the artists was nothing short of incredible so we did it again – this time inviting painter and saxophonist Jeffrey Hoover to join in. Again, we had an enthusiastic response to the lively discussion and the music created in the moment.
 
Now that we’ve tested the concept, I’d like to take the show on the road – so to speak. I am partnering with artist/director John C. Wilson to package this concept for colleges, universities, and art centers around the United States. We will find local artists in each city where we perform, improvise musical responses either solo or with other musicians, and John will serve as the moderator. I’m excited to share this fresh inter-arts program with a wider audience.

  • Red Door concert at UofB Wright Theatre.jpg
  • The Red Door is Open Introduction with Kimberly Lynn
    Kimberley Lynne's introduction to the program and the innovative concept.
  • Commentary on Maxines Art
  • Improvisation on an image given by audience member
    Another improvisation
  • Improvisation on an image given by audience member
    Another improvisation

Theatre Residency was a Dream

As guest artist, I composed improvisational music for a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Casper College in Wyoming, and performed live during the 2-week run in April 2023.

According to Director Richard Burk, “While attending the National Association of Schools of Theatre annual meeting in Baltimore in 2022, I had the opportunity to hear Robert play, compose, create, and transform with imagination channeled through his fingers into the piano in such a way as to transport us to a different time and place. We knew on the spot what an asset his presence would be, and the result was music that moves the world of the play.” Conceptually this production began with sound, rather than visuals. I was paired with bass player Dale Bohren, a local Casper musician, and the collaboration added depth to the score.

This was a wonderful experience for me, not only as an opportunity to explore new applications for my improvisational skills, but also bonding with another talented musician who discovered his improvisational talents. I’m excited to explore more collaborations with theatre productions.

  • Musical collaboration
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream: Preshow Music

    Improvised preshow music by Robert Hitz and Dale Bohren for Casper College's 2023 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Richard Burk.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream: Top of the show

    At the top of the show, we hear the improvised themes for the Mechanicals, the Fairies, and the Mortals in Casper College's 2023 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Music by Robert Hitz and Dale Bohren.

  • DREAM Cast at curtain call
  • Puck performs to improvised music
  • Discussion with Casper middle school students
  • Discussion with Director of Dream

Performing Solo Concerts, Livestreams, and the H and H Piano Duo

In the last couple of years with a pandemic and social distancing many of us have found new opportunities and audiences online. A simple concert is now streamed and available to people around the world, and this new way of reaching and developing audiences is here to stay. From outdoor Concerts on The Lawn, to a balcony in Key West overlooking the ocean. Recording Studios at Peabody and The Studios of Key West, livestreaming has become a great way to engage.
 My newest collaboration is the H and H piano Duo; Felicia Harrington and Robert Hitz. Our duo focuses on Improvisation in a variety of genres as well as covering the standard classical 4 hand repertoire. The samples here are from a recent concert and livestream with input from the audience in the room and on various continents.
 
I will be continuing solo concerts and leading Improv groups, as well as collaborating with a variety of musicians of various genres.

  • H and H Piano Duo.jpg
    The H and H Piano Duo in Concert
  • Schubert Fantasie F Minor for four hand piano OP. 103 D. 940 Felicia Clarke & Robert Hitz
  • Schubert Halt! & Danksagung An Den Bach. Lee Moore & Robert Hitz
  • Die Schöne Müllerin, D. 795: VI: Der Neugierige
  • Fantasie in F Minor Op. 103, D. 940: IV: Tempo 1
  • The Girl From Petrovka - Felicia Clarke
  • Robert Hitz.jpg
  • dvorak-legends-mvm-4-robert-hitz-felicia-harrington (1).mp3
    Dvorak Legend no 4 for piano 4 hands
  • improv-on-legend-4-robert-hitz-felicia-harrington.mp3
    An Improvisation based on a theme from Dvorak Legend no 4 with assistance from the audience!

Revisiting the Hitz Discography

I am proud of my solo recordings for piano and continue to play many of those pieces in concert. They have passed the test of time. If you are unfamiliar with my work, I hope you will enjoy this sampling.
  • covers.jpg
  • 09 Lullabye for a Hero II.mp3
  • 08 Caravanserai.mp3
  • 06 The Mountain Sings.mp3
  • 01 Healing Waters.mp3
  • 05 Timos Anaka.mp3
  • 08 Las Terrenas.mp3

Composing for Film and Theatre

Back in the 1990’s I began composing music for student films at MICA. I enjoyed creating scores to support mood or advance the action of the film. I continue to write for film, video, and theatre.
 
More recently it was great fun to write the music for Kneebouncers, a series of children’s videos created by Kurt Dommermuth.  My goal was to create an atmosphere for the cheerful animated characters that conveyed their charisma and a tonal palette pleasing to children. All were recorded in single takes scored to the running video.
 
Director John C. Wilson approached me to write music for his production of A Fierce Longing, a revival that was produced for Baltimore Theatre Project’s 40th anniversary. This intense play explores the life of novelist Yukio Mishima, and I loved being able to explore Japanese motifs and instrumentation. 
  • A Fierce Longing.jpg
  • overture.mp3
  • 935flute.mp3
  • Omi.mp3
  • rio Honey w vocal.mp3
  • KneeBouncers: Bugs
  • KneeBouncers: Opening Titles
  • KneeBouncers: Peek-a-Who
  • KneeBouncers: Astronaut

Providing Performance Opportunities for Studio Members

I love watching people grow, and artists grow incredibly rapidly when given the opportunity to perform. Unlike the tradition of an annual recital, I like to provide my students with at least six performance opportunities each year (for those who wish to perform publicly). We've varied the venues and the formats including assisted living centers, house concerts, churches, country clubs, theatres, and cabaret spaces.
 
One thing that thrills me is to witness the interactions and collaborations between studio members of different ages and experience. Everyone learns from each other, and rather than a competitive environment, we create one of support and encouragement. I’m proud to share some of their performances.

For many summers I've held a Summer Concert Series on my front lawn. These monthly concerts use the front porch as a stage with audience seated on the lawn for a relaxed afternoon of live music. 

  • Middle of a Moment Covered by Bryan at Stillpoint Theatre
  • Kim Stuart - Change [original]
  • Mumbi Wainaina - Hold On [original]
  • Moon Dance Covered by Deletta at Germanos Change is in the Air
  • You Are the One Original by Dick Gatchell
  • Try to Remember The American SongBook at Germanos Covered by Sophie
  • All I Ask of You - Lee & Caitlin (Phantom of the Opera Cover)
  • Maya - I Could Have Danced All Night
  • Trenton - Some Enchanted Evening
  • 3 Sisters Its a hard knock life

Nurturing New Recordings by Studio Members

In recent years there have been an explosion of recordings by members of my teaching studio, largely showcasing original compositions under my artistic direction. This phenomenon highlights the creative growth of these students, as well as access to affordable recording time provided by recording engineer Lee Moore.
 
Here I want to feature two students who’ve been with me for many years. No one would have believed it if five years ago someone had said Dick Gatchell would be writing love songs and recording a CD. Now in his 80s, Dick has played piano most of his life but songwriting is new to him. Felicia Clarke came to me as an already accomplished pianist playing the classical repertoire. Working with me, she began writing her own compositions which are filled with passion and power. Ora Chaya Brock began studying piano with me as a child and now as a young adult is a imaginative composer.
 
Mr. Gatchell’s “It’s All About Love” rejoices with eight original love songs. Ms. Clarke’s “Beautifully Blemished” introduces her romantic piano compositions. Ms. Brock’s “Revelation” demonstrates her entrepreneurial spirit and musical accomplishment. Here is a sample from each artist.
  • Felicia & Dick with their new CDs.jpg
  • 02 When We Were Dreamers.mp3
    When We Were Dreamers by Felicia Clarke
  • 04 You Are The One.mp3
    Dick Gatchell's original song You Are The One
  • A Thousand Cranes.mp3
    A Thousand Cranes by Ora Chaya Brock
  • Robert Hitz & Dick Gatchell.jpg