Naxos will release a new recording of music by Christopher Rouse on 11 September 2015. Kabir Padavali and Seeing are showcased on the CD, performed by the Albany Symphony with David Alan Miller conducting. The recordings follow 2011 performances of the works in Albany, and feature soprano Talise Trevigne and pianist Orion Weiss.
Winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a GRAMMY® Award, Christopher Rouse is one of America's most prominent composers of orchestral music, creating a body of work perhaps unequalled in its emotional intensity. Conceived from the start as differing from a traditional piano concerto, Seeing brings together seemingly disparate elements to explore the notion of 'sanity' through the music of Robert Schumann and Skip Spence, swinging between extremes of consonance and dissonance, stability and instability, to create a disorientating and hallucinatory work seen through the lens of mental illness. Kabir Padavali or 'Kabir Songbook' presents a range of the great Indian poet's religious concerns, from extraordinarily beautiful ecstasy to impishly humorous allegories. (Naxos 8.558799)
Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct the New York Philharmonic in the New York Premiere of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse's Requiem with baritone Jacques Imbrailo, the Westminster Symphonic Choir directed by Joe Miller, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus directed by Dianne Berkun-Menaker. The concert, Monday, May 5, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., will open the Spring For Music festival at Carnegie Hall, for which North American orchestras are invited to present one-night-only performances of unusual programming. The concert will be broadcast live on WQXR 105.9 FM and wqxr.org at 7:30 p.m., hosted by WQXR's Elliott Forrest and David Garland. WQXR will make it available for on-demand listening for one year following the stream on wqxr.org.
"All of us at the New York Philharmonic know that music can transport you away from daily concerns, to create a space for contemplation and illumination," Music Director Alan Gilbert said. "That underlies all the programs we play, but it is perhaps most perfectly manifest in Chris Rouse's Requiem. In this astounding work Chris has captured something fundamental about humanity, creating something both cataclysmic and cathartic. It is an honor to join our sister orchestras in this week-long celebration of what symphonic music can bring to all of our lives."
Christopher Rouse completed his Requiem in 2002 in honor of the 2003 bicentennial of Hector Berlioz's birth. "I feel attuned to Berlioz and his music," Mr. Rouse said. "It speaks to me almost as though I had composed it myself. I love the combination of the wild revolutionary with the much more traditional classicist he's not just the 'crazy man.' I love his harmony, his rhythm, his orchestration and his melodic sense is unlike anyone else's." Of his Requiem, Mr. Rouse said: "It is the best thing that I can lay claim to. It's the work by which I would want to stand or fall."
The New York Philharmonic has extended the term of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse, who will return for his third and final season with the Orchestra in 2014/15. Mr. Rouse became Composer-in-Residence in 2012; by the conclusion of his tenure he will have written three new pieces commissioned by the Philharmonic, worked with Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra in performances of ten of his works, and served as an advisor for six programs of CONTACT!, the new-music series.
Alan Gilbert said: "It seemed only natural to extend Christopher Rouse's term into a third year there's simply more to do. It's been so gratifying for me to hear from many musicians in the Orchestra who are excited to play his older scores and also bring new works to life. Chris says the New York Philharmonic is one of the greatest orchestras that he gets to work with I think that we inspire each other."
Christopher Rouse said: "I'm delighted to come back for a third year. The Orchestra plays my music absolutely wonderfully, and Alan is the perfect collaborator: he understands my music so well, be it an older piece or a premiere."
As part of Mr. Rouse's third term, Alan Gilbert will lead the World Premiere of Thunderstuck, a Philharmonic-commissioned orchestral work, October 9-11 and 14, 2014. The rock-inspired piece pays homage to some of Mr. Rouse's favorite rock artists from the 1960s and 1970s. Christopher Rouse said: "In essence, Thunderstuck is a rock 'n' roll piece, and it's all in fun. The bands from my younger days that I really love will be referenced, though most of the references will be twisted around to the point of being virtually unrecognizable. That's the fun part for me, sneaking these things in."
Philharmonic Principal Flute Robert Langevin will perform the New York Premiere of Christopher Rouse's Flute Concerto, conducted by Leonard Slatkin who has led many of the Philharmonic's performances of Rouse's works October 30-31 and November 1, 2014. Composed in 1993 with a nod to the composer's ancestry in the British Isles, the concerto evokes Celtic, especially Irish, folk influences. It also pays homage to the tragic murder of two-year-old James Bulger by ten-year-old boys in England in 1993. Mr. Rouse writes: "The central movement of this work is an elegy dedicated to James Bulger's memory, a small token of remembrance for a life senselessly and cruelly snuffed out." Alan Gilbert conducted a recording of the concerto with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and flutist Sharon Bezaly in 2009.
David Zinman will conduct the Philharmonic in Christopher Rouse's Iscariot, February 5-7, 2015. Completed in 1989, the title refers to the New Testament's betrayer of Jesus, Judas Iscariot, although the work is not biblically programmatic. Mr. Rouse writes: "Iscariot is at once both my most autobiographical score to date as well as my most ritualized. Though the music is continuous, the piece is nonetheless highly sectionalized into a pattern of alternating strophes and antistrophes in the ancient Greek dramatic tradition." He dedicated Iscariot "In friendship and with admiration" to fellow composer John Adams.
The Orchestra began its relationship with Mr. Rouse in 1984, when it performed The Infernal Machine, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Since then, the Philharmonic has commissioned and presented the World Premieres of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra (1992, with Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi, led by Mr. Slatkin); Seeing, for Piano and Orchestra (with Emanuel Ax, led by Mr. Slatkin in 1999 and David Zinman in 2003); Odna Zhizn (2010, led by Alan Gilbert); and Prospero's Rooms (2013, led by Alan Gilbert). The Orchestra has also performed the New York Premieres of his Symphony No. 3 (2013, led by Alan Gilbert) and Oboe Concerto (2013, with Principal Oboe Liang Wang, led by Alan Gilbert), as well as Phantasmata (2013, led by Alan Gilbert) and Rapture (2014, led by Alan Gilbert). Also during the 2013-14 season, the Orchestra will open Carnegie Hall's Spring For Music festival with Mr. Rouse's Requiem (May 5, 2014) and present the World Premiere of the Philharmonic-commissioned Symphony No. 4 (June 5 and 7, 2014) as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL. Mr. Rouse is the second Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, a post established by Alan Gilbert at the beginning of his tenure as Music Director; Magnus Lindberg was the first to occupy the position, from 2009 to 2012.
For more information see the New York Philharmonic's press release.
Christopher Rouse has been named The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, and will begin his two-year tenure in the 2012-13 season. He is the second composer to hold this title, following the tenure of Magnus Lindberg. The Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning American composer will be represented by three works with the Philharmonic this season in concerts conducted by Alan Gilbert: Phantasmata, February 21 and 22, 2013; a World Premiere-New York Philharmonic Commission, April 17-20, 2013, which will also be taken on the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour; and the reprise of Seeing for Piano and Orchestra (commissioned by the Philharmonic and premiered in 1999), June 20-22, 2013, performed by Emanuel Ax, the 2012-13 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, for whom it was written.
Mr. Rouse will also advise on CONTACT!, the Orchestra's new-music series with performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Peter Norton Symphony Space. The first program, December 21-22, 2012, will feature American conductor/composer Jayce Ogren leading an all- American program, with soprano Elizabeth Futral as soloist; on the second, April 5-6, 2013, Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct a combination of U.S. and New York premieres of works by contemporary Europe-based composers, with Principal Oboe Liang Wang as the soloist.
Orchestra To Perform World Premiere-New York Philharmonic Commission of New Rouse Work
On April 17-20, 2013, Mr. Gilbert will conduct the World Premiere of a New York Philharmonic Commission by Christopher Rouse, the 2012-13 Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence. The program featuring three iconic American composers will also include Serenade (after Plato's "Symposium") from 1954 by the Philharmonic's Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein, with violinist Joshua Bell as soloist, and Ives's Symphony No. 4, of 1910-16. Following its premiere, the new work by Rouse will be performed in May 2013 on the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour. Details on the new work will be announced at a later date. The Philharmonic has commissioned three previous works by Mr. Rouse: Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra (December 1992, which won the Pulitzer Prize); Seeing for Piano and Orchestra (May 1999), which will be reprised at the end of the 2012-13 season by Emanuel Ax; and Odna zhizn (A Life), which Alan Gilbert led in its premiere (February 2010).
Alan Gilbert To Conduct Rouse's 1985 Phantasmata
On February 21- 22, 2013, Mr. Gilbert will lead Phantasmata, Mr. Rouse's 1985 work that builds upon his 1981 The Infernal Machine, which is used as Phantasmata's middle movement. Encouraged to expand that earlier work by composer Joseph Schwantner, the work was originally composed for the St. Louis Symphony, which gave the premiere of the complete 18-minute piece under Leonard Slatkin on October 24, 1986.
Artist-in-Residence Emanuel Ax to Perform Seeing for Piano and Orchestra
The third orchestral program, June 20-22, 2013, will feature Artist-in-Residence Emanuel Ax, conducted by Mr. Gilbert, in Christopher Rouse's Seeing for Piano and Orchestra, which was commissioned by the Philharmonic for Mr. Ax, who premiered it in 1999 under the baton of Leonard Slatkin; Mr. Ax and the Orchestra reprised the work in 2003 with David Zinman.
For more information see the New York Philharmonic's press release.
Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 3 will receive its world premiere with the St. Louis Symphony, led by Music Director David Robertson, at Powell Hall on Thursday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m. The premiere will be followed by repeat performances on May 6-8, all paired with Orff's Carmina Burana.
The concert on Saturday, May 7 will be broadcast live on St. Louis Public Radio (90.7 KWMU) at 8:00 p.m. CT, and will be available via live internet stream at www.stlpublicradio.org/programs/symphony.php
In his Symphony No. 3, Christopher Rouse uses Prokofiev's Symphony No. 2 as a compositional stepping-off point, taking central aspects of the work and considering them anew. In the words of the composer, "Prokofiev's Symphony No. 2 furnishes the old bottle into which I have tried to pour new wine." From the two-movement form an allegro followed by a set of variations ' to its aggressive and uncompromising tone, Rouse looks to Prokofiev for the work's structural foundation, and then recasts those very elements with his own unique compositional voice. Rouse's Symphony No. 3 is co-commissioned by the St. Louis Symphony.
Christopher Rouse is one of America's most prominent composers of orchestral music. Winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Trombone Concerto, Rouse has created a body of work unequalled in its emotional intensity. His music has been played by nearly 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, and the Austrian Radio Orchestra. Recent highlights include the world premieres of the Requiem by the Los Angeles Master Chorale (2007), Concerto for Orchestra by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (2008), the Oboe Concerto by the Minnesota Orchestra (2009), and of Odna Zhizn by the New York Philharmonic (2010).
Founded in 1880, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and is widely considered one of the world's finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the 12th Music Director and second American-born conductor in the Symphony's history. In its 131st season, the St. Louis Symphony continues to strive for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility and community connection. In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, the St. Louis Symphony is an integral part of the St. Louis community, presenting more than 250 free education and community partnership programs each year. In June 2008, the St. Louis Symphony launched Building Our Business, which takes a proactive, two-pronged approach: build audiences and re-invigorate the St. Louis Symphony brand making the St. Louis Symphony and Powell Hall the place to be; and build the base for enhanced institutional commitment and donations. This is all part of a larger strategic plan adopted in May 2009 that includes new core ideology and a 10-year strategic vision focusing on artistic and institutional excellence, doubling the existing audience, and revenue growth across all key operating areas.
Thursday, May 5 at 8pm
Friday, May 6 at 8pm
Saturday, May 7 at 8pm
Sunday, May 8 at 3pm
David Robertson, conductor
Cyndia Sieden, soprano
Richard Troxell, tenor
David Adam Moore, baritone
St. Louis Symphony Chorus
Amy Kaiser, director
The St. Louis Children's Choirs
Barbara Berner, director
CHRISTOPHER ROUSE Symphony No. 3 (World Premiere)
ORFF Carmina Burana
Christopher Rouse has been named Composer of the Year by Musical America for 2009. Also recognized at the 2009 Musical America Awards at Lincoln Center next month will be Yo-Yo Ma as Musician of the Year, Marin Alsop as Conductor of the Year, Stephanie Blythe as Vocalist of the Year, and the Pacifica Quartet as Ensemble of the Year.
Musical America writes of Rouse in the current issue, "Few composers have written as skillfully for orchestra as Christopher Rouse. His off-the-wall inventiveness has thrilled audiences worldwide, perhaps most especially in the award-winning First Symphony and series of concertos for trombone (Pulitzer), cello (Grammys), violin, percussion, guitar (Grammy), flute, piano, clarinet, and oboe. He is currently at work on a New York Philharmonic commission."
Rouse is celebrating his 60th birthday this season with performances around the globe, including the February 5 world premiere of his Oboe Concerto, led by Osmo Vänskä with the Minnesota Orchestra and soloist Basil Reeve. The composer will be in Minnesota to celebrate the premiere, which takes place just prior to his actual birthday (February 15).
Best known for his masterful orchestral scores, Rouse has made a remarkable contribution to the repertoire with twenty-four symphonic works to date. His latest piece, the Concerto for Orchestra (which premiered at the Cabrillo Festival this past summer and will enjoy an East Coast premiere in Baltimore this Friday, November 21, led by Conductor of the Year Marin Alsop), marks Rouse's eleventh concerto. His works have been performed by several orchestras this year including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (Der gerettete Alberich), Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No. 2), Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Richmond Symphony (Trombone Concerto), and the New York Philharmonic (Rapture). Upcoming engagements include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Rapture), the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Friandises), the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (Der gerettete Alberich) and Aspen Music Festival (Oboe Concerto).
A Baltimore native, Rouse currently resides in his hometown and teaches composition at The Juilliard School as well as serving as Visiting Composer at the Peabody Institute. With this award he joins previous Musical America Composers of the Year from Boosey & Hawkes: Elliott Carter (1993), John Adams (1997), Ned Rorem (1998), and Steve Reich (2001).
The 2008-2009 season begins with the world premiere of his latest work, Concerto for Orchestra, at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Commissioned by the Festival, Concerto for Orchestra is dedicated to long-time champion Marin Alsop in honor of the Festival's administrative leadership, Ellen Primack and Tom Fredericks. Alsop will lead the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in the premiere performance at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in California on August 1.
Best known for his masterful orchestral writing, Rouse has gained particular attention in recent decades for his concerti. Concerto for Orchestra marks Rouse's twenty-fourth orchestral work to date, eleven of which are concerti. Scored for standard orchestra, Concerto for Orchestra places focus on the skill of ensemble members, with soloistic passages ranging from sweeping lyricism to challenging virtuosity. Rouse departs from standard practice with the work's form, however.
Says Rouse: "I decided to divide the concerto into connected halves... The first half would be made up of five rather brief sections fast, slow, fast, slow, fast in which the fast parts would share and develop the same musical material, while the slow ones would share and explore different material. The second half would consist of two sections, a slow one and a fast one, each meant to represent a sort of 'full blossoming' of the related ideas from their counterparts earlier on. My hope was to draw the listener in more and more as the work progressed, with the final allegro building to a frenzied, almost hysterical, climax."
Concerto for Orchestra will follow Alsop's baton to Baltimore for an East Coast premiere on November 21 by Rouse's hometown players, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Around the globe, Rouse's birthday season unfolds with performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Saint Louis Symphony (Der gerettete Alberich), Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No. 2), Singapore Symphony Orchestra (Trombone Concerto), the New York Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Rapture), the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Friandises), and the Minnesota Orchestra performing the world premiere of Rouse's Oboe Concerto on February 5. Rouse will be in Minnesota to celebrate the premiere which takes place just prior to his February 15 birthday.
For complete program notes for Christopher Rouse's Concerto for Orchestra click here.
For more information on the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music click here.
DAVID ZINMAN, THE BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & PHILHARMONIA CHORUS CELEBRATE THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING OF CHRISTOPHER ROUSE'S KAROLJU RELEASE DATE NOVEMBER 6, 2007
American conductor David Zinman turns to the joyful sounds of the holidays with the RCA Red Seal release Karolju: Christmas Music From Rouse, Lutoslawski and Rodrigo. Featuring the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Chorus, the recording, to be released on November 6, demonstrates Zinman's deep commitment to new music. The CD's centerpiece is Christopher Rouse's work Karolju, commissioned by Zinman during his time as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and inspired by the festive season. Witold Lutoslawski's Polish Christmas Carols and Joaquin Rodrigo's Retablo de Navidad round out the recording.
The CD is 17 years in the making: "The idea to record Christmas music of Rouse, Lutoslawski and Rodrigo came to me not long after I had done the first performances of the Rouse in 1991," writes Zinman in the recording's liner notes. "Not that there wasn't enough holiday music on the market every record company brings out at least two to three Christmas records each yuletide but truly contemporary settings of carols are comparatively rare, and the uniqueness of Karolju spurred me on."
The Grammy®-winning American composer's work struck an immediate chord with audiences. In Zinman's words, "After Karolju's first performances a strange phenomenon began to manifest itself. I began to receive hundreds of letters from audience members asking where they might be able to get a recording of Karolju. We had indeed made a recording for our radio broadcast series, but the rules of the Musicians Union prevented it's dissemination. Later, when Karolju was broadcast and then re-broadcast, many, many more fans wrote to ask if there was a commercial recording available. I asked the recording contacts I had at the time if they had any interest in recording Karolju. They all turned me down. Either they couldn't find the money, or they didn't think it was commercially viable. I began to despair. Fast forward 17 years... Perhaps patience is truly a virtue. My dream of recording Karolju has become a reality."
The work was influenced by several elements. As the Baltimore-based Rouse describes it, "Two paths led to the composition of Karolju. The first was the great body of Christmas carols written over the centuries, a collection I value as highly for its spiritual meaning as for its glorious music. The second was Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, which made an unforgettable impression upon me when I first heard it in March of 1963.
"In the early 1980s, I conceived of a plan to compose a collection of Christmas carols couched in an overall form similar to that of Carmina Burana, but it was not until 1989, when the work was commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, that I was able to begin serious work on it, though I had composed several of the carols in my mind over the preceding years... I decided to compose my own texts in a variety of languages (Latin, Swedish, French, Spanish, Russian, Czech, German, and Italian) which, although making reference to words and phrases appropriate to the Christmas season, would not be intelligibly translatable as complete entities. It was rather my intent to match the sound of the language to the musical style of the carol to which it was applied. I resultantly selected words often more for the quality of their sound and the extent to which such sound typified the language of their origin than for their cognitive "meaning" per se... I hope Karolju will help instill in listeners the same special joy which I feel for the season it celebrates."
Other upcoming releases of Christopher Rouse works on CD include his first symphony, clarinet concerto, and Iscariot on BIS; Wolf Rounds on Naxos; and his two string quartets, and Compline on Koch.
Click here to purchase Karolju from Amazon.com
The University of Miami's Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music will present the world premiere of Christopher Rouse's Wolf Rounds, performed by The Frost Wind Ensemble, Gary Green, Conductor, on Thursday March 29, 2007 at 8 PM at the Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall in New York City. Wolf Rounds, a tour de force for winds, was commissioned by the Abraham Frost Commission Series which supports the school's ongoing commitment to the creation of new works by today's prominent composers.
For more information, visit the Frost Ensemble's website: http://www.music.miami.edu/carnegiehall/
To purchase tickets, visit Carnegie Hall's box office.
Music Director Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony are introducing a unifying thread throughout the 2006-07 Classics Series in the form of Composer Narratives. The Composer Narratives feature a special focus on the lives and music of three composers Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Christopher Rouse. The works of Christopher Rouse that will be performed include his Symphony No. 2, Rapture, Iscariot and Concerto for Flute and Orchestra.
For tickets and more information, visit the Phoenix Symphony's website: http://www.phoenixsymphony.org
The Los Angeles Times' Chris Pasles reports that "the world premiere of a requiem by Pulitzer Prize-winner Christopher Rouse...will highlight the Los Angeles Master Chorale's 2006-07 season, which was announced Tuesday."
Rouse's Requiem will be performed March 25, 2007, with baritone Sanford Sylvan, the Los Angeles Children's Chorus and the Master Chorale Orchestra.
For tickets and more information, visit the Master Chorale's website: http://www.lamc.org/concerts/0607/070325_awaken.cfm
Philadelphia Inquirer music critic David Patrick Stearns reviewed the March 2 performance of Christopher Rouse's Flute Concerto by the Philadelphia Orchestra, noting that the "Time is right for the truth of [Rouse's] 'Flute Concerto'." Stearns writes "New symphonies and concertos have a way of going into hibernation shortly after being born: Christopher Rouse's Flute Concerto, for one, was reasonably interesting as it came and went over its initial round of performances in the mid-1990s. Now, it returns in an era that needs it. The Philadelphia Orchestra premiere on Thursday at the Kimmel Center seemed made for this year, this month, this moment."
"Now out of the prosperous 1990s and into an era of threatened civil war in Iraq and plummeting corporate ethics, Rouse's concerto is an island of truth."
"Ten years ago, Philadelphia's conservative public might have resisted it. But Thursday's audience was visibly altered by this encapsulation of humanity's extremes of cruelty and kindness."
To read the entire article from the March 4, 2006 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, click here.
December 12, 2004 The New York Times named Christopher Rouse's recent Ondine CD, containing world premiere recordings of Der gerettete Alberich, Rapture, and Violin Concerto, as one of its Best Classical CDs of 2004.
Allan Kozinn's August 2004 review extolls that "part of what makes Christopher Rouse's music so much fun is that beneath its veneer of fluid gestures and brilliant orchestration lies a subversive and sometimes perverse sense of humor." Kozinn continues that "[Der gerettete Alberich] exploits [percussionist Evelyn Glennie's] ability to produce not only a torrential noise but a percussion line that seems almost to sing...Its dark, gentle string writing and pitched percussion line suggest inner reflection if not regret. Not that this self-examination lasts long. The finale, opening with the Zeppelin quotation, is an unbridled dance of triumph...Mr. Rouse's Violin Concerto [is] a more conventionally neo-Romantic work...a graceful but sturdy barcarole."
Rouse shares honors on the list with such composers as Beethoven, Bach, Davies, Ives, Mahler, Messiaen, Mozart, Schubert, and Theodorakis.
Rouse's CD is getting attention on other annual lists, as well: Jim Svedja of Los Angeles's KUSC-Classical FM named the Ondine recording on his 2004 Guide to Gift Recordings. Click here for the entire list.
For only the fourth time in its history, the Pittsburgh Symphony has designated a living composer to be the Orchestra's Composer of the Year. For the 2004-05 season Christopher Rouse, one of America's most prominent composers of orchestral music, has been selected.
During the course of the concert season, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform several works by Rouse, who will be in Pittsburgh for the performances and to participate in various educational activities, with a special focus on young composers. Rouse's works have won a Pulitzer Prize (Trombone Concerto) and a Grammy Award (Concert de Gaudi), the latter of which Pittsburgh audiences will hear May 6 and 8. Rouse is not a stranger to Pittsburgh audiences. The Pittsburgh Symphony commissioned and performed the World Premiere of Rapture in 2000, and presented the work again in 2002. Prior to that, under Leonard Slatkin in 1983, the Orchestra performed The Infernal Machine, which was again performed under Mariss Jansons in 1999. During the 2000-01 season, the Orchestra performed his Der gerettete Alberich and during 2001-02, Seeing.
Pittsburgh will perform Rouse's Phaethon in September, one of several of the composer's scores inspired by mythology. Two Rouse works stand out in December when David Zinman conducts the Orchestra in The Nevill Feast, which takes its title from the enormous and elaborate feasts mounted in England during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and his Symphony No. 2, historically earning praise with each performance.
For more information, visit The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's website.
Christopher Rouse won a Grammy Award for 'Best Classical Contemporary Composition' from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences for his 'Concert de Gaudi for Guitar & Orchestra' written for and performed by Sharon Isbin (Teldec New Line 8573-81830-2). It marks the first time a guitar concerto has ever received a Grammy in this category.
The award was announced at the 44th annual Grammy Awards on February 27, 2002 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in a televised ceremony broadcast to over 1.7 billion viewers in 175 countries.
One of Nine Artists, Writers, and Composers Honored
Artists Richard Artschwager, Leon Golub, and Catherine Murphy; the writers Richard Hass, Romulus Linney, George Plimpton, and Edward Said; and the composers Christopher Rouse and Joseph Schwantner have been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John Hollander, Secretary of the Academy, who made the announcement on March 6, will induct the new members at the Academy's annual Cememonial on May 15.
Members are elected annually to fill vacancies in the Academy's membership of 250 American artists, architects, writers, and composers. Nominations made by members are first submitted for vote by department (Art, Literature, Music). The names of candidates who receive the highest number of votes from the members in their discipline are then placed on a ballot that is sent to the entire membership. The honor of election is considered the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in this country.
The Academy was founded in 1898 to "foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts." Each year, the Academy honors over 50 artists, architects, writers, and composers (who are not members) with cash awards. The amounts of these prizes range from $2500 to $75,000. Other activities of the Academy are exhibitions of painting , sculpture, architecture, and menuscripts; publications about the Academy's history and events; and, through the Richard Rogers Awards, reading and performances of new musicals. The American Academy of Arts and Letters is located in two landmark New York buildings, designed by McKim, Mead & White and by Cass Gilbert, on Audubon Terrace at 155th Street and Broadway.
Christopher Rouse's new dance work, FRIANDISES, will receive its world premiere with the New York City Ballet, choreography by Peter Martins, on February 10, 2006. The Juilliard Dance Ensemble will present the work with choreography by Adam Hougland beginning on February 22, 2006. For more information see the Performance Calendar.
FRIANDISES will also be featured on PBS's "Live from Lincoln Center" on April 3, 2006, as part of their broadcast of 100 Years of The Juilliard School: A Gala Celebration.
Der gerettete Alberich, Rapture, and Violin Concerto all receive their world premiere recordings on a new Ondine CD featuring the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leif Segerstam, and soloists Evelyn Glennie and Cho-Liang Lin.
Click here for more information and to listen to excerpts.
On May 7th's Opening Night at Pops, Keith Lockhart led the Boston Pops Orchestra in the world premiere of The Nevill Feast, a Boston Pops commission from Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy-winning composer Christopher Rouse. This entertaining eight-minute work recalls the great celebratory feasts of the Middle Ages with a modern-day rock-and-roll twist.
Teldec has released a CD of Christopher Rouse's 1999 guitar concerto, Concert de Gaudi. The Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, Portugal performs, with Sharon Isbin as soloist and Muhai Tang conducting. This world premiere recording was released by Teldec on May 15, 2001 (Teldec Classics 8573-81830-2). For more information, click here.
Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times gives this recording his top rating of four stars: "If Sharon Isbin won a Grammy this year for her...Dreams of the World, then she deserves a Nobel for this recording of two terrific new guitar concertos, written for her and played with gripping persuasiveness. Christopher Rouse, a composer with a plucky taste for classic rock and a contradictory tendency to slip into dark Shostakovichian moods, shows off neither here. Instead he sets conventional Spanish guitar style surrealistically on its ear. His [Concert de Gaudi] begins as though it was a sequel to Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez gone wonderfully awry. The middle movement, however, is the work's treasure, with a lyricism that is about as compulsively memorable as the beloved middle movement of Rodrigo's concerto."
The Dallas Morning News says of Concert de Gaudi, "It's uncommonly beautiful and here's predicting it's going to be performed and recorded a lot... Its emotional impact is reminiscent of Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain." Barrymore L. Scherer of Public Arts comments "Wonderfully eclectic... From the opening swirl of flamenco-style gestures, through the poignant, ballad-like slow movement and the scintillating finale, the score kaleidescopically presents memorably expressive passages."
Concert de Gaudi was jointly commissioned by the Norddeutsche Rundfunk and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for Sharon Isbin, with additional funding provided by Richard and Jody Nordlof. It is published by Boosey & Hawkes.
Wilmington, DE - January 10, 2001 - The Delaware Symphony Orchestra announced that composer Christopher Rouse has been named as the recipient of this year's Alfred I. duPont Award to, "a distinguished American composer, who has made a significant contribution in the field of contemporary orchestral music," for his Flute Concerto. Rouse was previously honored with the Pulitzer for his Trombone Concerto, and the Kennedy Center's Friedheim Award for his Symphony No. 1. Rouse's Flute Concerto will be played at the DSO's fourth Classical Series concerts, along with Brahms' Symphony No. 2 and Strauss' Burleske in D minor for Piano and Orchestra, with DSO conductor Stephen Gunzenhauser, as well as guest pianist Diane Walsh, on February 8, 9, and 10, at the Grand Opera House. Delaware Symphony flutist Carol Brown Beste will perform Rouse's Flute Concerto. Thursday's performance begins at 6:30 PM, Friday and Saturday performances both begin at 8:00 PM. Tickets are priced from $14 to $54. Concert previews take place one hour prior to each concert. Christopher Rouse will participate in the previews along with Delaware Symphony musician Chuck Holdeman. Call 302-652-5577 or 1-800-37GRAND for tickets.
As a part of the Delaware Symphony's Education Outreach Programs, Christopher Rouse will visit students at Brandywine High School on February 9th. DSO bassoonist and composer Chuck Holdeman worked with theory and band students for several weeks at area schools to help them create original compositions based on Christopher Rouse's music. Rouse will listen to the compositions and offer comments and encouragement to the students. The music that Rouse chooses will be played by the winning students at a Performance Preview in the Function Room of the Grand Opera House one hour prior to the three concerts.
Saturday night's concert has traditionally been Educators' Night, when area teachers are invited to attend the concert in recognition of their service to Delaware's young people. This year the McKean High School Highlander Chorale will perform before the concert and during intermission. In addition, this year the Delaware Symphony Association has joined with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in creating the Jessie Ball duPont Educator Award. The award was created to honor a Delaware teacher who has excelled in, and made a significant contribution to, the field of music education. The first winner is Marcia Schiff Acero, a music teacher at Colwyck Elementary School, New Castle, Delaware. Acero will receive a plaque and a $1,000 stipend at the concert on Saturday. Nominations came from the Delaware Music Educator's Association and the Delaware State Music Teachers Association. This award was created as a way to honor an outstanding music teacher, and to honor the late Jessie Ball duPont. Mrs. duPont was a devoted teacher before her marriage to Alfred I. duPont. After their marriage, Mrs. duPont continued to support the cause of the importance of education. "Early, I realized that love and knowledge were the only things of value," she wrote. During her lifetime she gave hundreds of individual scholarships as well as major donations to almost two hundred colleges and universities.
Today's DSO brings music to thousands of Delawareans through its Classical, Pops, and Chamber Series, its Kent & Sussex Series, and its education outreach programs. Friday's concert is
sponsored by DuPont and the Alfred I. duPont Foundation. Saturday's concert is sponsored by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The Delaware Symphony is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency committed to enhancing and supporting the arts in Delaware.