Classical Source is very sorry to learn (on Saturday evening, September 21) that the distinguished and distinctive American composer Christopher Rouse has died. He was born in Baltimore on 15 February 1949 and leaves a catalogue of great works.

Leonard Slatkin tweeted: "A major voice in American music has been silenced. Christopher Rouse will be remembered for his incredible individuality, humility, immense knowledge and willingness to share. His music will be performed and cherished by those who knew him and those just discovering his talent."

And Mr Slatkin continues with... "A short Chris Rouse story. One time, about nine years ago, I was having lunch with Chris. We were discussing the upcoming Lincoln celebration and I told him I had discovered a piece by Donizetti, written as a funeral march for the recently assassinated president. Chris said that this was not possible, as Lincoln died in 1865 and Donizetti in 1848. He tossed off this remark as casually as one possibly could, assuming that everyone knew this information. Only Chris would be able to pull Donizetti’s year of passage out of his storehouse in his abundant brain."

Postscript: Christopher Rouse’s Symphony No.6, commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and completed on June 6 this year, receives its world-premiere performances on October 18 & 19 conducted by Louis Langrée. Symphony 5 was premiered in February 2017 by the Dallas SO and Jaap van Zweden.


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