New Music For Old Instruments

Welcome! This is the website for the Boston-area composer and musician Mel Fitzhugh, who enjoys playing and composing for historical instruments (e.g., Renaissance and Baroque recorders, viols, harpsichord and chest/continuo organ).


A native of Stafford, Virginia, Melika M. Fitzhugh (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe: Music Theory and Composition, M.M. Longy School of Bard College: Composition) has studied conducting and composition with Thomas G. Everett, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos, Julian Pellicano, Roger Marsh, Jeff Stadelman, and, most recently, John Howell Morrison. Mel's compositions have been commissioned by John Tyson, Catherine E. Reuben, John and Maria Capello, Laura and Geoffrey Schamu, and the Quilisma Consort, and have been performed by those artists as well as the Radcliffe Choral Society, Berit Strong, Miyuki Tsurutani, Libor Dudas, and Aldo Abreu. Mel was the 2014 winner of both the Longy orchestral and commencement processional/recessional composition competitions, and has performed with the Radcliffe Choral Society, Coro Allegro, the Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Village Circle Band, and WACSAC. Mel, 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 and the early music ensemble Quilisma Consort, 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. Mel enjoys playing a variety of instruments for folk dance ensembles, including: violin/viola; acoustic guitar/bass; recorders; flute; hand percussion including dumbek/djembe/kahoun.

Recordings Available

Fantasies for a Modern Recorder
Featuring Respiravisse in Perpetuo for Tenor Recorder

What Others Have Said

American Recorder Society Magazine, Fall 2015

"...Also returning to the Relay was the Quilisma Consort (Lisa Gay, Carolyn Jean Smith, Melika Fitzhugh), here playing exclusively works by the last member -- and this time adding tenor voice (Elijah Hopkin). Fitzhugh's poignant Lamentations of an Aztec Poet, played mostly on [ATB] Renaissance recorders (occasionally requiring a recorderist to play two simultaneously) was full of percussive chiffs, word-painting of the texts, and Ligeti-like clusters. Hopkin's vocal gymnastics included slides and leaps to unexpected intervals -- difficult for many singers to pull off, yet he did."

American Recorder Society Magazine, Winter 2017: Tom Bickley

"The genuinely remarkable work is one by Boston-area composer Melika Fitzhugh, whose works have been heard in the past on the ARS Great Recorder Relay and Next Generation concerts (held in conjunction with the Boston Early Music Festival in odd-numbered years). Her Respiravisse in Perpetuo is a seven-minute tour de force of listening, subtle manipulation of timbre, and lyricism. Rather than disguising the breathing of the player, Fitzhugh makes it an audible part of the performance of the work, and the recording captures this to very good effect. Fitzhugh plays and writes for historical instruments as well as modern ones—in that, she is ideally positioned for the commission from O’Brien for this disc."

New Music For Old Instruments


If you want to find me, I will be in the following places at the corresponding times.

Group/Event Time Place
Balkan Fields at Princeton Folk Dance Friday, 23 February 2018
Suzanne Patterson Center
1 Momument Drive
Princeton, NJ
Ginger Ibex and Urban Myth Saturday, 3 March 2018
Third Life Studio
Union Square
Somerville, MA
The Deborah Abel Dance Company presents The Wild Divine Saturday, 17 March 2018, 7:30pm
Sunday, 18 March 2018, 3pm
Tsai Performance Center at BU
Boston, MA
Balkan Fields performs at Tri-City Folkdancers Friday, 23 March 2018
YWCA Schenectady
44 Washington Avenue
Schenectady, NY
Patricia Reuben Abreu performs 3 Piano Pieces and
Emily O'Brien performs Respiravisse in Perpetuo
at the Women Composers Festival of Hartford
Saturday, 7 April 2018
Garmany Hall
Austin Arts Center

Trinity College
Hartford, CT
Balkan Fields at NEFFA Saturday, 21 April 2017
Mansfield Middle School
Mansfield, MA
Boston Recorder Orchesra
The BRO will be premiering a new work of mine:
Lares Incentivii for Great/Contra Bass Recorder Septet
Sunday, 29 April 2017
Old North Church
Boston, MA
Quilisma Consort
with Special Guest Laura Pincus Vigliotte
Tuesday, 7 August 2018
King's Chapel
Boston, MA

Get in Touch

If you find that you have questions, comments, or would like to inquire about purchasing or commissioning a score, please contact me.

Contact Details