Eugene Rousseau has performed across North America and on five continents since his Carnegie Hall debut. The legendary saxophonist Marcel Mule described Rousseau as "a brilliant saxophonist and distinguished artist," and critics the world over have echoed Mule's praise.
Rousseau's artistry has inspired many "firsts." He gave the first solo saxophone recitals in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, London and Amsterdam. He has given a yearly master course at the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg during 1991-2001, marking the first time that the saxophone was included at that institution. He has premiered numerous works written for him, including the Partita by Juan Orrego-Salas (with the Haydn Trio of Vienna), Jindřich Feld's Sonata for alto saxophone and piano, and Concerto for saxophones and orchestra, Bernhard Heiden's Fantasia Concertante for alto saxophone and winds, Hear Again in Memory, by Frederick Fox, Don Freund's Skyscrapings for alto saxophone and piano, and Concertos by Libby Larsen, Claude Baker, and David DeBoor Canfield.
Rousseau has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, the Pan-American Festival Orchestra under Lukas Foss, the Indianapolis Symphony under Raymond Leppard and Phillipe Entremont, the BBC Orchestra in London, the Janácek Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Prague Symphony, the Kansai Philharmonic (Osaka), the Santiago Philharmonic (Chile), the recitals and master classes throughout the world on a variety of topics related to his instrument. His solo performances include appearances with the U.S. Army Band at Kennedy Center, the Budapest Strings in Hungary, and the Tokyo Bach Band, as well as the Hamamatsu International Wind Instrument Festival in Japan.
The Chicago-born Rousseau's service to the saxophone community is of long standing. Since 1972, he has been the Yamaha Corporation's chief consultant for saxophone research, contributing to the development of acoustic improvements in saxophones and mouthpieces. In 1985, he recorded a video program for Yamaha, Steps to Excellence. Rousseau co-founded the World Saxophone Congress in 1969 and has been President of both the North American Saxophone Alliance (1979-80) and the Comité International du Saxophone (1982-85). In May 1998, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Iowa, at which institution he earned the Ph.D. degree, his principal teacher being Himie Voxman. He holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus at Indiana University, having served on the IU faculty from 1964 to 2000.
Dr. Rousseau joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Music in fall 2000. In 1993, Eugene Rousseau was designated an honorary faculty member of the Prague Conservatory. In 2003, Rousseau and the University of Minnesota School of Music hosted the 13th World Saxophone Congress Convention. He left his position at the University of Minnesota in 2015 to pursue continued performances, master classes, recording and writing.