American composer Christopher Rouse passed away on Saturday, September 21, at age 70 in his native town of Baltimore. Rouse was one of America’s most prominent composers. His works have won a Pulitzer Prize (for his Trombone Concerto) and a Grammy Award (for Concert de Gaudí), as well as election to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Rouse graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and Cornell University, numbering among his principal teachers George Crumb and Karel Husa. Rouse maintained a steady interest in both classical 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 was also a member of the composition faculty at The Juilliard School. In 2012, he began his three-year tenure as Composer-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic.

While the Rouse catalogue includes a number of 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 European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and many more.

His final work, Symphony No. 6, is set to debut Oct. 18-19 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Louis Langrée.

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