Michael Colgrass, composer

In this photograph, Michael is working on his score for "Deja Vu", commissioned by the New York Philhamonic. The piece won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. (See more information about Michael on the link to Opus.) When I spent the day taking photographs of Michael, I asked if I was disturbing him. He replied that no one was usuall allowed in the room while he was composing, but in this case it was no problem since we were both tradesman working away at out trade.

"Perhaps more than anything else, it is Michael's ability to combine ear-catching surface activity with unshakably stable musical structures that mark Michael Colgrass as one of the leading orchestral composers of recent years in American music."

As well as being a composer, he is a writer and lecturer, who gives personal development workshops all over the world for performers, students and professional groups. A graduate of the University of Illinois, he is a Tanglewood scholar, twice Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the Pulizter Prize for music. He won an Emmy for the PBS documentary "Soundings: The Music of Michael Colgrass," which features his unique teaching methods.


Michael Colgrass working on his composition "Deja Vu"

© Arnold Matthews