Photo: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Christopher Rouse, GRAMMY And Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer And Teacher, Dies At 70
Christopher Rouse, a GRAMMY and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and educator, died Saturday due to complications from kidney cancer. He was 70.
It is with deep sadness that Boosey & Hawkes announces the death of the great composer and beloved teacher Christopher Rouse on Sep 21. His warmth, sense of humor, and musical brilliance will be greatly missed and dearly remembered. Rest in peace, Chris. https://t.co/4ok43mamAM pic.twitter.com/gZQkeoolOx
— Boosey & Hawkes (@Boosey) September 22, 2019
Born Feb. 15, 1949, in Baltimore, Rouse began composing at age 7 and honed his craft studying at Oberlin Conservatory and Cornell University. He earned a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1976 and began teaching composition at University of Michigan.
Rouse's went on to have his work was performed by every major orchestra in the U.S. and many more abroad, and he was commissioned by the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the London Symphony Orchestra, his hometown his hometown Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and many more.
In 1993, he won the Pulitzer Prize in music for his Trombone Concerto, dedicated to the late GRAMMY-winning composer Leonard Bernstein. He also eaned the GRAMMY for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for Rouse: Concert De Gaudí For Guitar & Orchestra at 2001's 44th GRAMMY Awards.
Boosey & Hawkes, Rouse's publisher, called him “one of America’s greatest orchestral voices," pointing to the, “Extreme emotional depth and colorful orchestration" in his work, which "reflected his insatiable curiosity for music from across Western music history to popular rock.”
A beloved educator and mentor, Rouse shared his talents and insight with an entire generation of young composers, teaching composition for over 20 years at The Juilliard School and at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. His final composition, Symphony No. 6, is scheduled to premiere Oct. 18-19 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Louis Langrée.
Rouse is survived by his wife, two children,,and three grandchildren. His musical legacy looms large in the compositions he created and the composer he taught and mentored in his lifetime.