Janice Giteck

Janice Giteck

Janice Giteck (born New York, 1946) is a composer of music for concert, multi-media, dance and theater. Her work is most celebrated for its visceral connection to social issues, and is inspired by a variety of musical traditions. Giteck currently lives on Whidbey Island, Northwest of Seattle. From 1979-2016 she was a professor at Cornish College of the Arts teaching music and classes focused on how artists respond to their social environments.

Giteck’s concert music is known internationally, and includes being the first woman commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony, with Edo deWaart (1981) for TREE. She held a Meet The Composer residency (1998-2000) in Seattle in collaboration with Jack Straw Cultural Center, producing two major works: Tikkun-Mending for tenor and orchestra; and Navigating the Light for concert soprano, jazz alto, and chamber orchestra, based on the lives of inmates at Echo Glen Children’s Center (Washington State Correctional Center). In 2004 Ishi (Yahi for ‘man’) was premiered by the Seattle Chamber Players; and in 2005 She Who Dances Through the Sky was premiered by the Esoterics (a capella ensemble), In a Camel’s Ear for 9 flutes, 2005; Snow Mandala for Jane Harty, 2007; and Tara’s Love Will Melt the Sword for Vicky Ray, 2003, both for solo piano; Where Can You Live Safely Then? In Surrender and Ricercare (Dream Upon Arrival) for the Saint Helens String Quartet, 2004, 2012 respectively.

Janice Giteck has scored the music for six award-winning feature documentaries including Emiko Omori’s Rabbit in the Moon (Sundance, Emmy Awards-1999) – recorded at Jack Straw Cultural Center; Johnny Simon’s Daddy and Pappa, 2001; Katie Jennings’s Teachings of the Tree People, 2007; and three films by Pat Ferrero: Hopi, Songs of the Fourth World, 1985; Hearts and Hands, 1988; and Yield to Total Elation, 2000, the latter recorded at Jack Straw Cultural Center. She has also scored as series of films for IslandWood (Environmental Learning Center) Washington, supported by National Geographic and National Science Institute.

Janice Giteck holds BA, MA in Composition from Mills College (1969) and an MA in Psychology from Antioch University (1986). She attended the Paris Conservatory and primary teachers include composers Darius Milhaud, Olivier Messiaen, and pianist Rebecca Weinstock. She also studied West African percussion with Obo Addy, and Javanese Gamelan with Daniel Schmidt.

Composer in Residence 1998 – 2000: Janice Giteck composed and recorded a series of original work in collaboration with Jack Straw Cultural Center through the national Meet the Composer program, including Tikkun-Mending (premiered by Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra), Yield to Total Elation (film score for Pat Ferrero directed film) and Rabbit in the Moon (film score for Emiko Omori’s documentary of the same name). She also conducted youth music workshops in Northwest School for ESL students, and at Alternative School for third through eighth grade classes. These workshops resulted in original compositions Go Gently into that Good Dawn, Origin Quilt and Navigating the Light, the latter based on material gathered from music and poetry workshops co-conducted with Judith Roche with teenage girls at Echo Glen Children’s Center.

A person sits on a chair in a dark space, with an illuminated semi-transparent screen behind them. A small speaker hangs overhead.

Rene Yung & Janice Giteck | The Four Dignities READ MORE >

Trimpin | Klavier Nonette READ MORE >

Sound Clips
  • Janice Giteck and musicians at Echo Glen
    Navigating the Light: Composer Spotlight and Performance Excerpt