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Rouse and Philharmonic Have a Thing

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse

Thursday at 8:00 PM


The quill has barely left the parchment since Christopher Rouse became composer-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic in 2010. In addition to writing pieces for the St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago Symphonies, Rouse will have given the Philharmonic three new pieces: Prospero’s Rooms, a 4th Symphony, and a work to be premiered in the fall called Thunderstruck. Just before he was officially their composer, they premiered a Rouse piece called Odna Zhizn. Rouse and the orchestra can comfortably say, “Oh, we go way back.”

Rouse won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his Trombone Concerto, which he wrote for the orchestra and principal trombone, Joseph Alessi (he’s still there). Emanuel Ax premiered a Rouse work for piano and orchestra with the Philharmonic in 1999. It’s a fitting tribute to the composer that the Philharmonic will have played ten of his pieces during this official residency, which was just extended for a third season.

On Thursday’s New York Philharmonic broadcast, hear an early work, Phantasmata from 1985. The word phantasmata was invented by Swiss German Renaissance physician Paracelsus, which he defined as “hallucinations created by thought,” or as Rouse describes it in his three movements: dream images. Concerts from the New York Philharmonic air each Thursday at 8:00 PM on WFMT.

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