Lolita Ritmanis (born November 1, 1962) is an American composer. Nominated for ten Emmy Awards, she won the award in 2001 for her work on the animated series Batman Beyond.
Born on November 1, 1962, in Portland, Oregon, Ritmanis is the daughter of Dr. Andris Ritmanis and Asja Ritmanis, who left Latvia during World War II and immigrated to the US in 1949. Ritmanis has a sister, Brigita Ritmanis-Jameson, and a brother, Alberts Ritmanis.
Throughout her childhood Ritmanis studied piano, flute, guitar and voice, performing in both jazz and classical music ensembles. Ritmanis composed her first song at age 11. By age 16 she had toured the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, composing for and performing with the Latvian popular music group Dzintars (Amber). Latvian song festivals throughout the world provided Ritmanis with the opportunity to conduct and perform her works before larger audiences.
Ritmanis graduated from Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon in 1980. She moved to Los Angeles to study at the Dick Grove School Of Music, where she graduated from both the Composition Program and the Film Music Composition Program, studying with composers Dick Grove, Mundell Lowe, Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini, Allyn Ferguson, and Jack Feierman, among others. Ritmanis also studied privately with teachers Mauro Bruno, Gibner King, and Matt Dennis.
Upon completing her studies, Ritmanis began working at Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Studios, which led to work in the field of orchestration for film and television. She was able to secure a steady supply of work from composers such as Michael Kamen, Basil Poledouris, Shirley Walker, Mark Snow, Paul Chihara, Bennett Salvay, Elliot Goldenthal, Louis Febre, Burt Bacharach, Snuffy Walden, and Carter Burwell. She has orchestrated over 100 films, mini-series and television programs, including Lethal Weapon 4, The X-Files, Swimfan, Jeepers Creepers 2, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Final Destination, The West Wing, and Demolition Man score with Goldenthal on one of the latter's first big studio works. Ritmanis also orchestrated a portion of the closing ceremonies of the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Film and television composition
In 1991, with the help of composer Shirley Walker, Ritmanis began her career as a film and television composer. Her collaboration with Ms. Walker provided an opportunity for her to write music for Batman: The Animated Series at Warner Bros. Studios. She continued at Warner Bros. with work on Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond. During this period of time, Ritmanis met and began a professional collaboration with composers Michael McCuistion and Kristopher Carter. The trio went on to compose music for The Zeta Project, Teen Titans, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Legion of Super Heroes, and several long form projects.
Ritmanis's concert works have been and continue to be performed throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Taiwan, Latvia and Australia. The symphonic poem Farewell To Riga was performed at Portland Civic Auditorium in 1982. Her cantata A New Day was performed at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in 1986. In 1989 Tas Vakars Piektdiena (Same Time Next Friday), a musical, was performed at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach, California and throughout Latvia in the summer of 1990. Turp Un Atpakal, a musical revue, was performed throughout the United States and Canada in 1999 and 2000. The musical Skudra Un Sienazis (The Ant And The Grasshopper) was performed at the Latvian Song Festival in Thousand Oaks, California in 1999. In August, 2003, the musical Gudrais Padomins was performed at Cathedral Hill in San Francisco. Rudentins Pie Durvim Klauve, a work for choir and chamber orchestra, was performed at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco on August 8, 2003. In 2004, Eslingena, a musical, was performed at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto, Canada, and in 2005 it was performed at the National Theatre in Riga, Latvia.
Dynamic Music Partners
As of 2007, Ritmanis and her colleagues Michael McCuistion and Kristopher Carter formed the Dynamic Music Partners (DMP). DMP has worked on the Warner Bros. series Legion of Super Heroes. In addition to their work in animation, DMP completed the score for the Thomas Callaway feature film Broke Sky, which premiered at the 2007 SXSW Film Festival.
In 2007 Ritmanis began work on a new musical, set to premiere in fall 2008 in Ventura, CA.
Ritmanis is married to music producer Mark Mattson. They live in Studio City, California with their 3 children. They maintain two recording studios.
Ritmanis was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 in Music Direction and Composition category for her work on Legion Of Super Heroes. In 2002 she was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Main Title Theme Music category for Justice League.