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Mikel Rouse: Passport: 30 Years Drawn on the Road  An Exhibition at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts starting December 9


The Library to celebrate acquisition of the complete Mikel Rouse Archive

Cartoon Diary #3, 1991  © Mikel Rouse/New York, NYCartoon Diary #3, 1991 © Mikel Rouse/New York, NYMikel Rouse has been hailed by The New York Times as “a composer many believe to be the best of his generation.” Yet the art that he has created goes beyond just music. In Passport: 30 Years Drawn on the Road, a new exhibition at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, a collection of rarely seen sketches, collages, and prints by Rouse will be on display. Passport: 30 Years Drawn on the Road will be on display from December 9, 2010 to January 29, 2011 in the Plaza Corridor of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Admission is free.

The exhibition, Passport: 30 Years Drawn on the Road, celebrates the announcement that The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has acquired the archive of Mikel Rouse as part of the Library’s permanent collection. The archive will include Rouse’s scores, manuscripts, digital media including audio, video, and film material, as well as art work, sketchbooks, diaries and correspondence. Materials featured in the exhibition will also be found in the archive.

“The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is honored to have Mikel Rouse’s archive in the collection,” said Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director for the Performing Arts. “The rich and important work of this wonderfully diverse artist will be available for patrons to study and learn from for years to come. “

Passport: 30 Years Drawn on the Road will feature a collection of never before exhibited sketches and watercolors from Mikel Rouse’s touring career, selected from over 200 sketch and manuscript books. The books have been indispensable in Rouse process of creating works for the stage. The exhibition will also include music manuscripts, original librettos, cartoons and memorabilia from performances.

“In many cases, the books have also served as visual storyboards for the films and stage works,” said Mikel Rouse. “Not in a literal or traditional way, but in conjuring and suggesting imagery that might fit a particular musical or dramatic context. It’s for this reason I’m so pleased to present this work at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, my home away from home in those early days in New York City.”

Beginning on Monday, December 13, a selection of Rouse’s film works will be presented continuously through the day in the Amsterdam Avenue lobby of the Library for the Performing Arts. Titles will include Funding (2001), The End of Cinematics (2002), Music for Minorities (2004), and Dennis Cleveland (2004). There will be a special screening on Wednesday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bruno Walter Auditorium of Funding (2001) and The End of Cinematics (2002) that will include an introduction by Mikel Rouse.

This exhibition will coincide with performances of Rouse’s Gravity Radio at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival (December 7, 9, 10, and 11) and the release of 2 new Mikel Rouse CDs: Recess and Corner Loading, Volume 1 on December 7.

About Mikel Rouse
Mikel Rouse is a New York-based composer, director, performer and recording artist. His works include 25 records, 7 films, and a trilogy of media operas: Failing Kansas, Dennis Cleveland and The End Of Cinematics. His work has frequently appeared on top ten lists around the country.

In 1995, Rouse premiered and directed the first opera in his trilogy: Failing Kansas, inspired by Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. This led to an emerging art form he calls "counterpoetry," which involves the use of multiple unpitched voices in counterpoint. In 1996, Mr. Rouse premiered and directed the modern talk show opera Dennis Cleveland, hailed by The Village Voice as "the most exciting and innovative new opera since Einstein on the Beach. "

The third opera in his trilogy, The End Of Cinematics, premiered at the Krannert Center for the performing Arts in Fall 2005. In fall 2006, Rouse embarked on a major tour of The End Of Cinematics. Stops included Carolina Performing Arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the University of Florida at Gainesville, Liverpool, and the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

Rouse has also operated on a more intimate scale as a solo live performer, traversing the globe like a 21st-century Mark Twain with a surreally beautiful song-and-video storytelling piece called Music For Minorities.

A new piece for The Merce Cunningham Dance Company premiered in NYC in October 2006. The piece was scored for multiple iPods set to "shuffle" so that each audience member had a different realization of the score. The music for the piece, International Cloud Atlas, was released on iTunes and was available for download prior to the premiere.

He has received commissions from Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and the Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program. Rouse's compositions have been performed at Lincoln Center, the New York State Theater, and Alice Tully Hall, and throughout the United States and Europe. More information is available at

Contact: Jon Pace| 212.592.7710 |