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
- Apache Lullaby (2013)
- Arctic Dreams (1991)
- Arctic Dreams (ed. Ambrose) (1991/2015)
- Bali (2006)
- The Beethoven Machine (2003)
- Concertino for Timpani (1965)
- Deja Vu (1977)
- Dream Dancer (2001)
- Gotta Make Noise (2003)
- Mysterious Village (2007)
- Old Churches (2002)
- Raag Mala (2005)
- Urban Requiem (1995)
- Winds of Nagual (1985)
- Clickard, Stephen. (2003). "Michael Colgrass." In: A Composer's Insight, Volume 1. Galesville, Md.: Meredith Music Publications. pp. 15–33.
- Hemberger, Glen J. "Bali." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 449-454. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
- McCutchen, Mathew G. (2009) An Examination of the History and Winning Pieces of the National Band Association's Composition Contest: 1977-2008. Florida State University, Doctoral Dissertation.
- Michael Colgrass website
- Michael Colgrass, Prized Composers, University of Washington
- Miles, Richard B. 2000. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 3. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 611.
- Nicholson, Chad. "The Beethoven Machine." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 248-255. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
- Riegel, Marcus L. (2008) An analytical and historical examination of six works for middle level wind band: Bells of freedom (grade 1) by David Gillingham, Rising star (grade 1) by Samuel R. Hazo, Achilles’ wrath (grade 2) by Sean O’Laughlin, Kenya contrasts (grade 2.5) by William Himes, On the wings of swallows (grade 3) by Michael Sweeney, and Old churches (grade 3) by Michael Colgrass. [Master's Thesis].