Steve Rouse (b. 1953, Moss Point, Miss.) began composing and improvising at age five, subsequently studying piano, bassoon, and saxophone. At thirteen he began four years as a bassoonist in the Gulf Coast Symphony and also began performing with his first rhythm and blues group. His principal composition teachers included Luigi Zaninelli at the University of Southern Mississippi (BM Theory/Composition) and, at the University of Michigan, where he received his Master of Music and Doctorate of Music in composition, Leslie Bassett and William Albright. While a graduate student, Rouse served for three years as Music Director and accompanist for the Dance Department of Eastern Michigan University and started a successful jingle production company partnership in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area. At the conclusion of his graduate studies, his Hexachords and Their Trichordal Generators: An Introduction was published in the music theory journal In Theory Only, December 1985.
As Composer in Residence for the Meet The Composer Louisville Residency from 1995-1998, Rouse wrote music for all levels of public school music ensembles and worked extensively with students, teachers, and administrators to develop and implement musical outreach programs. The residency offered a unique opportunity to work closely with local government and social service agencies to create outreach possibilities surrounding musical creativity, such as the highly visible and successful Young Composers program.
In 1988 Rouse joined the faculty of the University of Louisville, having previously taught at the University of Utah and, as a Teaching Fellow, at the University of Michigan. In Spring 1999, Rouse was a full-time Visiting Professor of Composition at Indiana University Bloomington. Currently, he is Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of Louisville School of Music.
Winner of the Rome Prize, Steve Rouse holds among his awards a three-year Meet The Composer residency, a National Endowment for the Arts Composition Fellowship, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Hinrichsen Prize and Ives Composition Prize, three Al Smith Artist Fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council, First Prize in the Dartmouth Competition for New Choral Music for his Dense Pack, numerous ASCAP awards, and the Research and Creative Achievement Award from the University of Louisville. He is included in the recent millennium edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians, Ninth Edition (2000).
Rouse's works have been performed in Ecuador, England, Italy, the Soviet Union, Taiwan, Venezuela, and throughout the U.S., including performances by the St. Louis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, the American Brass Quintet, Parnassus, Composers, Inc., the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, and the League/ISCM. His recordings have been heard in airplay around the world.
He has received commissions from, among others, the Louisville Orchestra, the League/ISCM, the Guayaquil, Ecuador Chamber Orchestra, the University of Michigan Contemporary Directions Ensemble for the 1984 National Organ Conference, and the Kentucky Music Teachers Association. Rouse's Into the Light was recorded for Telarc Records by the Cincinnati Symphony, and his Enigma for Delos Records by Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony, with trumpet soloist Jeff Silberschlag. His trumpet sonata, The Avatar, as recorded by Ray Mase, is available on Summit Records (CDC 148), and More Light, The Avatar, and A Flying Leap! have been recorded for the Coronet label by trumpeter Michael Tunnell. A new solo CD on the Centaur label will be released in 2009. Steve Rouse is published by C. F. Peters, Manhattan Beach Music, MMB, and Primal Press.
Works for Winds
- Blaze (2000)
- Enchanted Island
- Enter the Olympians
- A Flying Leap
- Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Rouse) (2001)
- Wayfaring Stranger (2004)