Christopher Rouse is one of America's most prominent composers of orchestral music. His works have won a Pulitzer Prize (for his Trombone Concerto) and a Grammy Award (for Concert de Gaudi), as well as election to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters. Rouse has created a body of work perhaps unequalled in its emotional intensity. The New York Times has called it "some of the most anguished, most memorable music around." The Baltimore Sun has written: "When the music history of the late 20th century is written, I suspect the explosive and passionate music of Rouse will loom large."
Born in Baltimore in 1949, Rouse developed an early interest in both classical and popular music. He graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and Cornell University, numbering among his principal teachers George Crumb and Karel Husa. Rouse maintained a steady interest in popular music: at the Eastman School of Music, where he was Professor of Composition until 2002, he taught a course in the history of rock for many years. Rouse is currently a member of the composition faculty at The Juilliard School. In 2012, he began his two-year tenure as Composer-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic.
While the Rouse catalog includes a number of acclaimed chamber and ensemble works, he is best known for his mastery of orchestral writing. His music has been played by every major orchestra in the U.S., and numerous ensembles overseas including the Berlin Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney and Melbourne Symphonies, the London Symphony, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, the Toronto Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Moscow Symphony, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony, the Bournemouth Symphony, and the Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the radio orchestras of Helsinki, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, Tokyo, Austria, and Berlin.