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Christopher Rouse (born 15 February 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American composer.



Rouse studied with Richard Hoffmann at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, graduating in 1971, and later completed graduate degrees under Karel Husa at Cornell University in 1977. In between, Rouse studied privately with George Crumb. Early recognition came from the BMI Foundation's BMI Student Composer Awards in 1972 and 1973. Rouse taught at the University of Michigan from 1978 to 1981 and at the Eastman School of Music from 1981 to 2002. He currently teaches at the Juilliard School (since 1997). In 2002, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

His notable students include Michael Torke, Marc Mellits, and Kevin Puts.

He has four children: Angela, Jillian, Alexandra, and Adrian from ex-wife Ann. They separated in 2004.


Rouse is commonly referred to as a neo-romantic composer, as many of his works attempt to combine diatonicism with more contemporary musical idioms. He has been praised for his orchestration skills, particularly with percussion [1]. He often quotes works of other composers (e.g., his Symphony #1, composed in 1986, incorporates quotations from the music of Bruckner and Shostakovich).[citation needed]


Complete works


  • Gorgon (1984)
  • Phantasmata (1981/85)
  • Phaethon (1986)
  • Symphony No. 1 (1986, awarded the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award in 1988)
  • Iscariot (chamber orchestra, 1989)
  • Concerto per Corde (string orchestra, 1990)
  • Symphony No. 2 (1994)
  • Envoi (1995)
  • Rapture (2000)
  • The Nevill Feast (2003)
  • Friandises (ballet, 2005)
  • Concerto for Orchestra (2007-08)
  • Odna Zhizn (2008-09)
  • Symphony No. 3 (2010) (work in progress)

Orchestra with soloist

Voice and orchestra

Wind Ensemble

Chamber music

  • Ogoun Badagris (percussion ensemble, 1976)
  • Quattro Madrigali (eight-voice choir, 1976)
  • Ku-Ka-Ilimoku (percussion ensemble, 1978)
  • Mitternachtslieder (bass-baritone and mixed ensemble, 1979)
  • Rotae Passionis (mixed ensemble, 1982)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1982)
  • Lares Hercii (violin and harpsichord, 1983)
  • Artemis (brass quintet, 1988)
  • Bonham (percussion ensemble, 1988)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1988)
  • Compline (flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet, 1996)
  • Rapturedux (cello ensemble, 2001)
  • String Quartet No. 3 (2009)

Solo works

  • Little Gorgon (piano, 1986)
  • Ricordanza (cello, 1995)
  • Valentine (flute, 1996)

External links


  • Shulman, Laurie. 1997. "Christopher Rouse: An Overview" Tempo, new series, no. 199:2–8
  • Shulman, Laurie. 2001. "Rouse, Christopher (Chapman)". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.


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