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Born: 1949, Baltimore
"I've always loved artistic extremes and even excess, the idea of pushing something farther than 'good taste' or 'propriety' would seem to allow."
Baltimore-born Christopher Rouse is one of today's most prominent composers of orchestral music. Winner of both the Pultitzer Prize and a Grammy Award, Rouse was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002 and recently joined the faculty of the Juilliard School. Known for music ranging from anguished gravity to kinetic power, Rouse has always emphasized expression over technique.
Christopher Rouse was born in Baltimore, studied composition at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and at Cornell University, and trained under such composers as George Crumb and Karel Husa. Since 1981 he has taught composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. His music has been performed by the major American orchestras as well as by leading international orchestras such as the Berlin and Stockholm Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Philharmonia, and the Orchestre National de France.
From 1986 to 1989 he was Composer-in-Residence at the Baltimore Symphony, and in 1988 his Symphony No. 1, lauded as one of the finest symphonic works of recent years, won the prestigious Friedheim Award given by the Kennedy Center. (The Symphony was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1992.) His Trombone Concerto, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and dedicated to the memory of Leonard Bernstein, won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in Music. In January 1994, Yo-Yo Ma gave the world premiere of Rouse’s Violoncello Concerto, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under David Zinman, at the Music Center in Los Angeles.
Ku-Ka-Ilimoku for percussion quartet (1978)
Eastman Percussion Ensemble (Koch)
Symphony No. 1 (1986)
Baltimore Symphony, Zinman (Nonesuch)
Cello Concerto (1992-93)
Yo-Yo Ma, Philadelphia Orchestra, Zinman (Sony)