Christopher Rouse

Biography

Born: February 15, 1949; Baltimore, MD  
Christopher Rouse is best known for his large body of concertos and symphonic works. He has been described as "the Stephen King of composition," since many of his works from the late 1980s and early 1990s dealt with issues of death, horror, tragedy, and mythology. Rouse's music is dramatic in an almost Mahlerian sense -- a side effect of which seems to be that his music is the loudest and boldest of his time. One orchestra playing his Read more music called in OSHA because orchestra members thought the volume level was too loud and, therefore, unsafe. That said, Rouse has written some of the most beautiful and touching music of any composer of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A New York Times article stated, "Rouse has written some of the most anguished, most memorable music around."

Rouse started out at as a rock & roll drummer. However, It was not long until his love for classical composing took over and he enrolled in the Oberlin Conservatory. Having received a degree in composition in 1971, he began his graduate work at Cornell University. In 1971 and 1972, Rouse won Student Composer Awards from BMI and in 1976, he received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He received his doctor of musical arts degree from Cornell in 1977.

Accepted to the University of Michigan Society of Fellows, Rouse taught composition there from 1978 to 1981 and was the recipient of a Rockefeller Grant. When that position was over, he began teaching at the Eastman School of Music. In 1982, Rouse received a commission from the Boston Musica Viva. This signified the beginning of his professional career, and it was after this that he began to write his most important works.

Rouse, noticing at the time that many American composers were writing pieces that were entirely Adagio in nature, accepted a commission in 1984 from the Rochester Philharmonic. Gorgon, based on the mythological creatures, turned out to be a four-movement piece in which all of the movements are in a fast tempo. This prompted Rouse's reputation for being a fast and loud composer.

The year 1986 marked the completion of a three-movement work Phantasmata that was premiered by the Saint Louis Symphony with Leonard Slatkin conducting, and Rouse began a post as composer-in-residence with the Baltimore Symphony that lasted until 1989. The orchestra premiered his Symphony No. 1 in 1988 which received a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. On the coattails of this honor, Rouse wrote pieces for the Houston Symphony Orchestra, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and a Trombone Concerto for the New York Philharmonic, which was awarded the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in music. Having secured a reputation as one of the United States' most sought-after and respected composers, Rouse began the next phase of his career writing concertos for the most admired soloists in classical music, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, flutist Carol Wincenc, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, soprano Dawn Upshaw, pianist Emanuel Ax, guitarist Sharon Isbin, and clarinetist Larry Combs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and orchestral pieces for the likes of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra, among others.

While maintaining his position at Eastman, Rouse began teaching composition at the Juilliard School in 1997 and became co-composer in residence at the Aspen Music Festival in 1999. Read less
New Line - Tan Dun, Rouse: Guitar Concertos / Sharon Isbin
Release Date: 05/15/2001   Label: Teldec  
Catalog: 81830   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 34 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    5 Classic Albums / Sharon Isbin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 624364 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Lauro,  Isaias Savio,  Leo Brouwer,  Benito Canonico  ... 
    Performer:  Gaudencio Thiago de Mello,  Sharon Isbin,  Paul Winter
    Conductor:  Muhai Tang,  Howard Griffiths,  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon,  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 2.
    Linn Super Audio Collection, Vol. 7
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 459 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Hector Berlioz,  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Karen Cargill,  Ingrid Fliter,  William Berger,  Sivan Magen  ... 
    Conductor:  Robin Ticciati,  Jun Märkl,  Nicholas McGegan,  Jac Van Steen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin Consort,  Avison Ensemble,  Ensemble Marsyas  ... 
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  • 3.
    Fink Meets The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Ninja Tune (Usa)   Catalog: 201 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fink,  Henry Purcell,  Christopher Rouse,  Charles Ives
    Performer:  Fink,  Tim Thornton
    Conductor:  Ivan Meylemans
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  • 4.
    Starry Crown / Junkin, University Of Texas Wind Ensemble
    Label: Longhorn Music   Catalog: 2012002 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Donald Grantham,  Christopher Rouse,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  David Maslanka  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerry Junkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Texas Wind Ensemble
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  • 5.
    Katherine Bryan Plays Flute Concertos By Christopher Rouse & Jacques Ibert
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 420 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse,  Claude Debussy,  Frank Martin,  Jacques Ibert
    Performer:  Katherine Bryan
    Conductor:  Jac Van Steen
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  • 6.
    Dialoghi
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 78876 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Toshiro Mayuzumi,  Christopher Rouse,  Steven Edward Stucky  ... 
    Performer:  David Fung,  Elinor Frey
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  • 7.
    Concertos For The New World / Yo-yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56119 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Danielpour,  Christopher Rouse,  Leon Kirchner
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  David Zinman
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  • 8.
    Wolf Rounds - Daugherty, Maslanka, Rouse / University Of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572439 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse,  David Maslanka,  Michael Daugherty
    Performer:  Tim Conner,  Glenn Basham
    Conductor:  Gary Green
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frost Wind Ensemble
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  • 9.
    Sharon Bezaly Plays Bacri, Bernstein, Dean & Rouse
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1799 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolas Bacri,  Leonard Bernstein,  Christopher Rouse,  Brett Dean
    Performer:  Sharon Bezaly
    Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow,  John Neschling,  Alan Gilbert,  Brett Dean
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta,  Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Christopher Rouse: Flute Concerto, Symphony, Rapture, Etc / Bezaly, Royal Stockholm Po
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1586 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse
    Performer:  Sharon Bezaly
    Conductor:  Alan Gilbert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John T. Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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  • 12.
    Quartets 1 & 2 - Rouse/Jacobson/Byers/Calder Quartet
    Label: eOne   Catalog: 7757 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse
    Performer:  Sivan Magen,  Daniel Alexander,  Alicia Lee
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calder String Quartet
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  • 13.
    American Spectrum / Marsalis, Llewellyn, North Carolina Symphony
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1644 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ned Rorem,  John T. Williams,  Michael Daugherty,  Christopher Rouse
    Performer:  Branford Marsalis
    Conductor:  Grant Llewellyn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Branford Marsalis Quartet,  North Carolina Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    A KDFC Classical Christmas 4
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74122 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Prizeman,  Jay Livingston,  Hector Berlioz,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Arturo Delmoni,  Luciano Pavarotti
    Conductor:  Robert Prizeman,  Jeffrey Thomas,  John Georgiadis,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Libera,  Canadian Brass,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 15.
    Rouse: Iscariot, Clarinet Concerto, Symphony No 1 / Fröst, Gilbert, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1386 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse
    Performer:  Martin Fröst
    Conductor:  Alan Gilbert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Rouse: Trombone Concerto, Etc / Alsop, Alessi, Colorado So
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68410 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Dance Mix / David Zinman, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444454 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  John Adams,  Aaron Jay Kernis,  David Schiff  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Karolju - Christmas Music From Rouse, Lutoslawski, Rodrigo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 711561 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Christopher Rouse,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Anna Stéphany,  Julia Doyle
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 19.
    Rouse: Trombone Concerto, Etc / Alsop, Alessi, Colorado So
    Label: Phoenix Usa   Catalog: 167 Release Date: 01/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    The Divine Feminine
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80689 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hildegard of Bingen,  John Tavener,  Arvo Pärt,  Tomás Luis de Victoria  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Willems,  Elly Ameling,  Sylvia McNair,  Richard Leech  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Werthen,  Robert Shaw,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Yoel Levi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapestry,  I Fiamminghi,  Robert Shaw Festival Singers  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    World Premiere Collection - Corigliano, Cowell, Et Al
    Label: First Edition   Catalog: 32 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roy Harris,  John Harbison,  Tobias Picker,  Joan Tower  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  The Louisville Orchestra,  Houston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 22.
    American Masters For The 21st Century /Society For New Music
    Label: Innova   Catalog: 616 Release Date: 12/07/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Steven Edward Stucky,  Brian Israel,  Elizabeth Alexander,  Robert Keefe  ... 
    Performer:  John Oberbrunner,  Laurance Luttinger,  George Macero,  Barbara Rabin  ... 
    Conductor:  Calvin Custer,  Mark Scatterday,  Grant Cooper,  Edward Murray  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 23.
    Artist Portrait - Sharon Isbin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 61591 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Tan Dun,  Christopher Rouse,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Susanne Mentzer,  Gaudencio Thiago de Mello
    Conductor:  Howard Griffiths,  Muhai Tang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon
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  • 24.
    Christopher Rouse
    Label: First Edition   Catalog: 26 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    Rouse: Der Gerettete Alberich, Rapture, Etc / Glennie, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1016 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Rouse
    Performer:  Lin Cho-Liang,  Evelyn Glennie
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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