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NYWC Spotlight: Alyssa Reit

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers. This month, we spotlight Alyssa Reit.

Alyssa Reit Composer

Alyssa Reit – Composer, Arranger, Harpist, Storyteller, and Teacher. Photo by Ian Donald courtesy Alyssa Reit.

Bio from Alyssa Reit’s website:

“Alyssa’s compositions and arrangements have been played at events sponsored by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Eastman School of Music, and the Greenwich Symphony, as well as at festivals all over the world. Her body of work ranges from solos for diverse instruments, brass quintets, mixed chamber music, and choral pieces, to music for string orchestra. Current projects include a Broadway musical and a ballet based on H.C. Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen.’ ”

Featured Work: “Il Prigione I” for cello and harp


  • Title: “Il Prigione I”
  • Composer:  Alyssa Reit
  • Year of Composition: 1998
  • Instrumentation: cello and harp
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: 7+ minutes
  • Number of Measures: 133
  • Number of pages: 8-page score; 2-page cello part
  • Tempo: varies from  quarter = 60 to dotted half = 60
  • Difficulty Level: advanced/professional
  • Highest Position Reached: thumb
  • Techniques Employed: harmonics, pizzicato, glissando, grace notes; double stops; 4/4, 12/8, 3/4, 5/8, 3/8, 4/8, 5/16, and 6/16 time signatures; bass, tenor, and treble clefs
  • Publisher: Self-published, 7 Stars Publishing
  • Where to Purchase the Score: 7 Stars Publishing; also harpcolumnmusic
  • Cost of Score*: $15


Recording by Annabelle Hoffman (cello), Alyssa Reit (harp)

Performance Notes

“The overall feeling should be going from heaviness to light.” –  Alyssa Reit

Program Notes

“Il Prigione I is part of a series of chamber works written in response to Michelangelo’s powerful set of sculptures of the same title—men half encased in stone. To me, these statues are a profound expression of the condition of mankind, all of us being partly who we really are and partly trapped by so many things. These pieces explore the contrast between prison and freedom, and the struggle to become free.” – Alyssa Reit

Alyssa Reit’s Other Work with a Prominent Cello Part

How to Follow, Support, and Contact Alyssa Reit

A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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*Prices are accurate at the time of article publication, but the Cello Museum cannot take responsibility for subsequent price changes.