Christopher Rouse - Composer

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2019 Performances

The Infernal Machine
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Hong Kong
April 5, 6 2019
Southeast Asian Premiere

Concerto for Orchestra
Nashville Symphony
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Nashville, TN
April 11, 12, 13, 2019

Nashville Symphony
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Nashville, TN
April 11, 12, 13, 2019

Der gerettete Alberich
Sinfonieorchester Aachen
Evelyn Glennie, percussion
Christopher Ward, conductor
Kurpark (Open Air)
Aachen, Germany
September 1, 2019

Symphony No. 6
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Louis Langrée, conductor
Music Hall
Cincinnati, OH
October 18, 19, 2019
World Premiere

Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
Vienna Konzerthaus
October 24, 2019

Flute Concerto
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Rebecca Gilbert, flute
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Eastman Theatre
Rochester, NY
November 21, 23, 2019

Bassoon Concerto
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Todd Gibson-Cornish, bassoon
David Robertson, conductor
Sydney Opera House
Sydney, Australia
November 28, 29, 30, 2019
Australian Premiere

2020 Performances

Bassoon Concerto
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Robert Wagner, bassoon
Xian Zhang, conductor
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Newark, NJ
March 26, 27, 2020

Bassoon Concerto
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Robert Wagner, bassoon
Xian Zhang, conductor
Count Basie Center for the Arts
Red Bank, NJ
March 28, 2020

Bassoon Concerto
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Robert Wagner, bassoon
Xian Zhang, conductor
Mayo Performing Arts Center
Morristown, NJ
March 29, 2020

Concert de Gaudi
Maryland Symphony Orchestra
Sharon Isbin, guitar
Elizabeth Schulze, conductor
The Maryland Theatre
Hagerstown, MD
April 4 & 5, 2020

Heimdall's Trumpet
Albany Symphony Orchestra
Eric Berlin, trumpet
David Alan Miller, conductor
Palace Theatre
Albany, NY
April 18, 2020

Photograph of Christopher Rouse © 2007 by Jeff Herman


Christopher Rouse — celebrated symphonist and composer of more than a dozen concertos for different instruments — adds yet another concerto to his catalog: a Bassoon Concerto. Soloist Andrew Cuneo gives the first performances of the concerto with Cristian Măcelaru and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on November 16 and 17 at Powell Hall.

A longtime champion of Rouse's music, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has also given the world premieres of his Phantasmata for orchestra (1981/85) and Symphony No. 3 (2011), and has performed many other of his orchestral and concerto works over the past decades.

The Bassoon Concerto is commissioned by a consortium of four orchestras across three continents: St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. The world premiere in St. Louis will be followed by to-be-announced performances by the other three commissioners in subsequent seasons.

A prolific orchestral composer, Rouse has written a concerto for a large variety of instruments. With this latest addition, he has now completed a concerto for each of the four main woodwind instruments. Rouse's concertos display his skill in exploring and utilizing an instrument's full range of capabilities. In the Bassoon Concerto, he asks the soloist to play long, lyrical lines, and to exploit the unique tone of the instrument's upper-middle register (rather than its natural range in the lower register), which he finds to be akin to the quality of a cello.

Written in three movements, the 20-minute concerto sees the soloist and orchestra working together, unlike other Rouse concertos (e.g., the cello concerto) that aggressively pit the orchestra against the soloist. The composer substantially pared down the scoring, stripping out the horns, trombones, and tuba and using a smaller percussion setup. At various points of the concerto, the two bassoons in the orchestra join forces with the soloist to create what Rouse calls a "mega bassoon," an effect that creates a broader sound and allows for exploration of new colors.

More information about the Bassoon Concerto


Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 5 has its world premiere with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden conducting, from 9-11 February 2017. Future performances include summer of 2017 at Aspen Music Festival, and autumn of 2017 with the Nashville Symphony.

Rouse: Odna Zhizn - Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 - Prospero's Rooms - Dacapo DACAPO RECORDING: ODNA ZHIZN, SYMPHONIES NOS. 3 & 4, PROSPERO'S ROOMS

May 2016 saw the Dacapo release of Symphonies 3 and 4, Odna Zhizn, and Propsero's Rooms by the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert. The CD was listed as one of NPR's best recordings of 2016, one of only two in the classical genre. The recording is nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for "Best Orchestral Performance."


The Philadelphia Orchestra premiered the Organ Concerto, composed for organist Paul Jacobs, from 17-19 November 2016. Co-commissioners the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra will premiere the work in April and May 2017, respectively.

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