He has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which described his music as
“subtle, powerful works of a knowing musical intelligence,” and “effortlessly original. A lyrical metamorphosis of timbre, rhythm and shape engage the ear…his music is both intense and sensitive.”
He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and commissions from Chamber Music America, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Gotland (Sweden) Chamber Music Festival, as well as from individual soloists and ensembles.
His recent commissions include Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra by Anders Paulsson and the Stockton (California) Symphony Orchestra, premiered in 2005; Trio for violin, cello and piano by the Koussevitzky Foundation, premiered in 2004 by the Peabody Trio; and Celebration for winds by the U.S. Marine Band, premiered in March, 2007.
Chaitkin (b. 1938) followed early experience as a jazz musician with studies in composition at Pomona College and the University of California, Berkeley, where he received its Prix de Paris. His teachers included Luigi Dallapiccola, Seymour Shifrin, Max Deutsch, Andrew Imbrie and Karl Kohn. He has taught at Reed College, New York University and Brooklyn College. His music is published by Nottingham Square Publications, G. Schirmer, Josef Marx Music Co., C.F. Peters Edition, E.C. Schirmer and Columbia University Press, and may be heard on CRI and Albany Records.