Skip to main content

Colgrass, Michael (Charles)

Colgrass, Michael (Charles)

Colgrass, Michael (Charles), American composer; b. Chicago, April 22, 1932. He received training in percussion and composition at the Univ. of 111. (Mus.B., 1956), and also studied composition with Foss at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (summers, 1952, 1954) and Milhaud at the Aspen (Colo.) Music School (summer, 1953). He then took private composition lessons with Riegger (1958–59) and Ben Weber (1959–62) in N.Y. After working as a freelance solo percussionist in N.Y. (1956–67), he settled in Toronto, where he devoted himself fully to composition. In 1964 and 1968 he held Guggenheim fellowships, and in 1978 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Déjà vu, a concerto for four Percussionists and Orch. In his output, he has utilized various styles and techniques, with percussion often playing a significant melorhythmic role.

Works

DRAMATIC: Virgil’s Dream, music theater (1967); Nightingale, Inc., comic opera (1971); Something’s Gonna Happen, children’s musical (1978). orch.:Divertimento for 8 Drums, Piano, and Strings (1960); Rhapsodic Fantasy for 15 Drums and Orch. (1965); Sea Shadow (1966); As Quiet as...(1966); Auras for Harp and Orch. (1973); Concertmasters for 3 Violins and Orch. (1975); Letter from Mozart (1976); Déjà vu for 4 Percussionists and Orch. (1977); Delta for Clarinet, Violin, and Percussion Orch. (1979); Memento for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1982); Chaconne for Viola and Orch. (Toronto, Sept. 27, 1984); Demon for Amplified Piano, Percussion, Tape, Radio, and Orch. (1984); The Schubert Birds (1989); Snow Walker for Organ and Orch. (1990); Arctic Dreams for Symphonic Band (1991). chamber:3 Brothers for 9 Percussion (1951); Percussion Music for 4 Percussion (1953); Chamber Music for 4 Drums and String Quartet (1954); Percussion Quintet (1955); Variations for 4 Drums and Viola (1957); Fantasy Variations for Solo Percussion and 6 Percussion (1960); Rhapsody for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (1962); Light Spirit for Flute, Viola, Guitar, and Percussion (1963); Night of the Raccoon for Harp, Flute, Keyboard, and Percussion (1978); Flashbacks for 5 Brass (1979); Winds of NagualA Musical Fable for Wind Ensemble (Boston, Feb. 14, 1985); Strangers: Irreconcilable Variations for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano (1986); String Quartet, Folklines (1987); piano pieces. vocal:The Earth’s a Baked Apple for Chorus and Orch. (1969); New People for Mezzo-soprano, Viola, and Piano (1969); Image of Man for 4 Solo Voices, Chorus, and Orch. (1974); Theatre of the Universe for Solo Voices, Chorus, and Orch. (1975); Best Wishes, U.S.A. for 4 Solo Voices, Double Chorus, 2 Jazz Bands, Folk Instruments, and Orch. (1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Colgrass, Michael (Charles)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Colgrass, Michael (Charles)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/colgrass-michael-charles-0

"Colgrass, Michael (Charles)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved October 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/colgrass-michael-charles-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.