Michael Colgrass

From Wind Repertory Project
Michael Colgrass


Michael Colgrass (b. 22 April 1932, Chicago, Ill. - 3 July 2019) was an American-born Canadian composer.

He began his musical career as a percussionist and jazz drummer in Chicago and then New York. As a performer, he has had the pleasure of working with musical icons including Dizzie Gillespie, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Stravinsky, the New York Philharmonic, the American Ballet Theatre, and the original West Side Story Orchestra on Broadway. His composition teachers have included Darius Milhaud, Lukas Foss, Wallingford Riegger and Ben Weber. In 1978, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for Deja vu (the orchestral version) and in 1982 he received an Emmy Award for the documentary Soundings: The Music of Michael Colgrass. Healso won the Barlow and Sudler Awards for Winds of Nagual.

Colgrass lived in Toronto, Canada with his wife Ulla, a journalist. Colgrass worked as a composer, also doing workshops internationally in performance technique and psychology. He was commissioned by groups including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, the Lincoln Centre Chamber Music Society and the Brighton Festival in England.

Works for Winds