Biography

Patrick Connor Dittamo is a Kansas-based musicologist and composer, currently a doctoral fellow studying musicology at the University of Chicago.  

 As a scholar, Patrick is fascinated by the practical mechanics of music-making in the medieval and early modern eras, including the construction of instruments, the development of musical notation, material culture, and the labor conditions of musicians.  His interest in organology (the study of musical instruments) extends to the instruments and instrument makers of the modern early music revival.  Patrick collects reproductions of historical instruments (with an emphasis on wind instruments), which he uses for lecture-demonstrations on the history of music and musical instruments as well as for performances.  He also has nodes of interest in music-drama and the lives and works of Claudio Monteverdi, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein.

 As a composer, Patrick’s compositions take inspiration from the musics of earlier eras, drawing on historical forms, and textures, and often regaling in a luscious post-minimalist style informed by modal harmony.  Broadly appealing but thoughtfully crafted, Patrick’s music has been described as “[rising] to searing levels of raw expressiveness” (Manhattan Mercury), with “roots in the past, but remaining distinct and innovative” (Virginia Informer), and has been heard across the United States, from California to Virginia, and around the world, including performances in Mumbai, India and at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.  Select musical works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and Sleepy Puppy Press.  Patrick was the winner of the inaugural 2017 Forgotten Clefs “Shawms and Stories” Composition Fellowship, and was a finalist for the 2019 American Prize in the vocal chamber music division, as well as a semi-finalist in the instrumental chamber music division.  He has received commissions from the Flint Hills Children’s Choir and the Lafayette College Brass Ensemble, as well as from private individuals.  Patrick’s editorial reconstruction of Bartolomé de Escobedo’s Missa ad te levavi (c. 1540-41) was premiered by the Grammy Award-winning Kansas City Chorale in 2019 and will be featured on a future recording.

A National Merit Scholar, Patrick graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music composition from the College of William & Mary, where he studied composition with Brian Hulse, Sophia Serghi, and Greg Bowers, and historical performance practice with Ruth van Baak Griffioen and Thomas Marshall.  As a James Monroe Scholar at the College, he completed independent research on the compositional technique of Sir Arthur Sullivan.  His senior composition thesis, The Harrowing of Hell, an oratorio patterned after medieval passion plays and early Italian opera and orchestrated for historical instruments, received high honors.

 

Upon graduation, Patrick commissioned as an active duty U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps officer through the William & Mary Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program and completed the Quartermaster Basic Officer Leadership Course (QM-BOLC) at Fort Lee, Virginia, graduating on the commandant’s list.  He was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas and served on rotational deployments to Kuwait and the Republic of Korea before leaving active duty at the rank of captain.  He subsequently completed a dual Master of Music degree in music history and composition at Kansas State University, where he studied composition with Craig Weston, culminating in a recital of original works entitled Death, Desire, and Dysentery.  His master’s thesis, The Prehistory and Reception of Leonard Bernstein’s Missa Brevis (1988) available here, examined the circumstances surrounding the composition of the Missa Brevis as well as its source material, Bernstein’s medieval-inflected incidental music for Lillian Hellman’s award-winning 1955 Broadway play The Lark.  

When not in Chicago for coursework, Patrick lives in Manhattan, Kansas with his better half, tenor Bryan Pinkall, and their red-footed tortoise, Orpheus.  
 

Honors & Awards

Academic & Professional Achievements, Grants, & Scholarships

  • Finalist, American Prize, Vocal Chamber Music Division (2019)

  • Semi-Finalist, American Prize, Instrumental Chamber Music Division (2019)

  • Doctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago (2019-present)

  • Pi Kappa Lambda, Delta Lambda Chapter Inductee (2019)

  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Inductee (2019)

  • Kansas State University Graduate School Arts, Humanities &  Social Sciences Small Grant (2019)

  • Kansas State University Arts & Sciences Research Travel Award (2018)

  • Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Yale University) Travel Fund (2018)

  • Forgotten Clefs Shawms and Stories Composition Fellowship (2018)

  • Phi Kappa Tau Memorial Scholarship (2012-2013)

  • Ruth C. Maynard Endowment for Voice Students Scholarship (2012)

  • Elizabeth P. Tillery Scholarship (2011)

  • Gladys Iseman Clark Scholarship (2011)

  • Alpha Lambda Delta & Phi Eta Sigma Honor Societies Inductee (2010)

  • Francis Breeze Voice Scholarship (2010)

  • James Monroe Scholar (2009-2013)

  • U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship (2009-2013)

  • National Merit Scholar (2009)

 

Military Awards & Decorations

  • Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster (ARCOM, 1 OLC)

  • Army Achievement Medal (AAM)

  • National Defense Service Medal (NDSM)

  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOTEM)

  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOTSM)

  • Korea Defense Service Medal (KDSM)

  • Army Service Ribbon (ASR)

  • Commandant's List, Quartermaster Basic Officer Leadership Course (QM-BOLC 13-010)

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