Eugene Rousseau has established himself as one of the leading saxophone performers and pedagogues in the world today. Currently a member of the artist faculty of the School of Music at the University of Minnesota, he is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His many students have distinguished themselves as university professors and superb performers throughout the world. He has received prestigious guest professor appointments at the Paris Conservatory, the Hochschule für Musik of Vienna, Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Nebraska, and the University of North Texas. In 2007 he was named McKay Artist in Residence at the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music. In addition, Rousseau holds the title of Honorary Professor at the Prague Conservatory and at the Instituto G. Braga of Italy. Eugene Rousseau has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the world, including The Minnesota Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, the Indianapolis Symphony under Raymond Leppard and Phillpe Entremont, the BBC Orchestra of London, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Prague Symphony, the Janáček Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Kansai Philharmonic of Osaka, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, and the Austrian Radio Orchestra. He has presented numerous solo and chamber music recitals throughout the world and North America. In 1993 he performed the first ever saxophone recital at the Mozarteum Conservatory of Salzburg. That same year he presented the first saxophone performance at the famous Prague Spring Festival. His performances have been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, on Adventures in Good Music with Karl Haas, and has been interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition.
In 1969 Rousseau co-founded the World Saxophone Congress, the first such organization for an individual instrument, considered by many to be a major turning point in establishing credibility for the saxophone as a serious medium of musical expression. During 2005 Rousseau served as President of the Organizing Committee for the World Saxophone Congress XIII, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The North American Saxophone Alliance honored him with its highest award – Honorary Life Membership.
Born in Blue Island, Illinois in 1932, Eugene Rousseau attended the Chicago Musical College, Northwestern University, and earned the Ph.D. in Music Literature and Peformance at the University of Iowa, where his principal teacher was Dr. Himie Voxman. In 1960 Rousseau was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study the saxophone with Marcel Mule at the Paris Conservatory. During this time Rousseau also had the opportunity to study wind acoustics with the eminent Charles Houvenaghel. In 1963 he was appointed as the musical representative for the International Trade Fair in Conakry, Guinea, West Africa. The following year, 1964, he was appointed to the faculty of the School of Music at Indiana University, where he taught for 36 years. While at Indiana, his interest in the acoustics of the saxophone continued to grow and was, for twenty years, the chief consultant for saxophone research and development for the Yamaha Corporation of Japan.
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