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Melika Fitzhugh

Melika Fitzhugh is an American composer.
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A native of Stafford, Virginia, Melika M. Fitzhugh (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe, M.M. Longy 
School of Music of Bard College) studied conducting and composition with Thomas G. 
Everett, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos, Julian Pellicano, Roger Marsh, Jeff 
Stadelman, and, most recently, John Howell Morrison and Osnat Netzer. Mel's 
compositions have been performed internationally by the PHACE Ensemble (Austria), 
Quarteto Larianna (Brazil), the Brouwer Trio (Spain), Sarah Jeffery (Nederland, 
Sweden), Sylvia Hinz (Germany), the Radcliffe Choral Society (US), Berit Strong (US), 
John Tyson (US), Miyuki Tsurutani (Japan/US), and Aldo Abreu (Venezuela/US).

Mel was a 2021 Bang on a Can Fellow, the 2020 winner of the PatsyLu Prize for 
IAWM’s Search for New Music, the 2014 winner of the Longy orchestral composition 
competition, and has performed with the Radcliffe Choral Society, Coro Allegro, the 
Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Village Circle Band, and WACSAC. The artist, who has 
composed music for film and stage, was a member of Just In Time Composers and 
Players and is currently a member of world/early music ensemble Urban Myth, in 
addition to playing bass guitar with acoustic rock singer/songwriter Emmy Cerra, the 
ambient rock band Rose Cabal and the Balkan folk dance band Balkan Fields

A Woman Keeps Opening

Clarinet, Soprano




Setting of A Woman Keeps Opening by Jenny Factor, a poem about Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi, the Hugging Saint) from her collection Want, the Lake (Red Hen Press, 2025).


Perdition: 100 Days of Solitude

Clarinet, Other


Contact Composer



No Recording Available

This composition is called: “Perdition.” In the archaic sense, Perdition means Loss. 

Today, Perdition implies a soundscape of seemingly unending misery, turmoil, destruction, deprivation. 

Can’t breathe. Waiting, as Gabriel Garcia Marquez once implied, for the world to be blown away by a fierce wind, in silent desperation. It has been 100 days of social isolation. 
And yes, there is loss. Loss due to death by disease. Loss due to the mounting deaths of a state-encouraged violence. Loss of the freedom to breathe freely in the open air — left gasping for breath whether due to failure of lungs, or inability to breathe properly through a facemask, or as a result of sky-rocketing anxiety. Loss of breath because
one’s breath has been actively taken away. 

The end of civility's norms, of civilianism, of society. Everything familiar has ground to a halt, nothing is happening — other than the dying...bodies piling in mobile morgues…next to stockpiles of toilet tissue and hand sanitizer…
But not just the implicit, inherent, and implied sense of panic. With humanity there is sometimes an underlying hope. 

Of snatching recovery from the maw of death. Of finding new ways to mitigate or incorporate turmoil and deprivation,  whether that be via simul-watches of Netflix (for those lucky enough to have robust internet and the appropriate 

….Or: black-market hair salons.
The soundscape of Perdition is the whole human scale of betrayal and loss, set alongside the ridiculous, the resilient,  and the unstoppable. 


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