Louis Rosen, composer, lyricist, performer, author and educator, is a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship recipient whose musical style is a fusion of folk, jazz, classical, rock and blues idioms. Recordings of his work include nine albums: I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING (Music and Lyrics, 2019); PHENOMENAL WOMAN: The Maya Angelou Songs and SONGS WITHOUT WORDS (Music, 2018) with vocalist Capathia Jenkins; DUST TO DUST BLUES (Music and Lyrics, 2017); ACT ONE: Piano Music from the Theater (2017); DREAM SUITE: Songs in Jazz and Blues—The Langston Hughes Songs (Music, 2016) with vocalists Alton Fitzgerald White and Capathia Jenkins ; THE ACHE OF POSSIBILITY (Music and Lyrics, 2009), ONE OUNCE OF TRUTH: The Nikki Giovanni Songs (Music, 2008) and SOUTH SIDE STORIES (Music and Lyrics, 2006), all with Capathia Jenkins.
Theater compositions include two musicals: BOOK OF THE NIGHT (Music and Co-Lyrics, Goodman Theater, 1991) and A CHILD’S GARDEN (Music, Lyric Adaptations and Co-Libretto, Off-Broadway); and 30 scores for productions on Broadway (including James Lapine’s ACT ONE at Lincoln Center, 2014), off-Broadway and at major regional theaters around the country such as The Public's Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the Goodman Theater in Chicago, Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater, Seattle Repertory Theater, Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C.; Princeton's McCarter Theater and many others. Among twelve concert suites drawn from these theater scores are ACT ONE SUITE for Solo Piano (2015); INTO NIGHT AND ON THE VERGE (1993) and ORCHARDS (1987), both for two pianos, or piano four-hands; SUITE: PEER GYNT (1998); MOTHER COURAGE SONG SUITE (1993); MUSIC FOR GALILEO (1986); MUSIC FOR THE TEMPEST (1987); THREE PIECES for Solo Piano (1982) and THREE CHORAL ODES (1977).
BOOKS include the memoir/oral narrative, THE SOUTH SIDE: THE RACIAL TRANSFORMATION OF AN AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOOD (Cloth, 1998; Paperback, 1999); and BEYOND CATEGORY: Music Theory from Bach to The Beatles (2015).
Among other song cycles are IT IS STILL DARK: Songs of Love and Exile (2003), lyrics by Celso Gonzalez-Falla; A CHILD'S GARDEN SONG SUITE (1992) on poems by Robert Louis Stevenson; FOUR SONGS on texts by various poets (1983); FIVE RIVERSONGS on poems by Edgar Lee Masters (1985); and THE BLACK LOOM TRILOGY, three song cycles on poems by three major African-American poets (also listed above under albums): Part I—DREAM SUITE: Songs in Jazz and Blues (The Langston Hughes Songs), Part II—ONE OUNCE OF TRUTH: The Nikki Giovanni Songs, and Part III—PHENOMENAL WOMAN: The Maya Angelou Songs (completed 2018).
Awards include the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Music Composition; the NEA New American Works Grant; The 2nd Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Award; ASCAP Awards, 1993-2020; a Puffin Foundation Grant; an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Galileo Prize & Commission; Chicago's John W. Schmid Award, Best New Work for Book Of The Night, among others.
Recent compositions since 2018 reflect a new emphasis on instrumental music and include THE PEARL SUITE for Small Orchestra; THE PEARL OCTET; SUITE FOR CLARINET and PIANO; TWELVE GUITAR PRELUDES; the six-movement SEXTET; OCTET: SIX RIVERSONGS; TRIO: THREE RIVERSONGS; and THE BLACK LOOM TRILOGY EPILOGUE for Jazz Sextet.
Teachers included Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Alfred Uhry and John Weidman (composing and writing for theater); William Russo (Music Theory and Jazz Composition); William Ferris (Choral Composition, Orchestration and Formal Analysis); Joseph Reiser (Music Theory and Composition).