Renowned American Composer Christopher Rouse Dies at Age 70, Leaves Behind Final Work 

Christopher Rouse

Christopher Rouse

His Final Work, Symphony No. 6 is Set to Premiere on Oct. 18-19 

Well-loved and much-applauded American composer Christopher Rouse passed away on Saturday, September 21, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland at the age of 70. The tragic news was announced by his family and later released in press notice by Boosey & Hawkes. 

Rouse was a prolific composer of an innumerable range of acclaimed ensemble and chamber works. Additionally, Rouse proudly built his legacy as one of the greatest American orchestral voices, which is cataloged by his influential work characterized by exceptional emotional depth and vibrant orchestration. 

Perhaps most notable, the press release states, was Rouse’s “insatiable curiosity for music from across Western music history to popular rock.” It was perhaps this curiosity and appreciate that contributed to Rouse’s depth as a composer, orchestral voice, and pillar-like presence in the classical music community. 

Rouse was born in Baltimore in 1949—there, he developed an interest in both classical and contemporary music. His influence within the Boston classical music community was enormous. Not only did he graduate from Oberlin Conservatory as well as Cornell University, but he also was a well-loved professor of composition from 1981-2002 at the Eastman School of Music, teaching a course in the history of rock. Rouse also served as a member of the Composition Faculty at The Juilliard School since 1997.  

His catalog of work is impressive and lengthy, including six individual symphonies, concertos for over 12 different instruments, extravagant symphonic works, and so much more. His impressive and vibrant concertos won him several prestigious awards, including the 1993 Pulitzer Price in Music, two Grammy Awards, the 2002 Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition, and so much more. 

Rouse’s final work, entitled Symphony No. 6, was completed this year and is still set to have its world premiere on October 18-19, with both the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Louis Langrée. 


NewsClassical Post Team