April 22, 1932: 22:20 Michael Charles Colgrass is born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the second of three children born to Michael Clement Colgrass, a postmaster, and Anna Hand.
May 28, 1951: Three Brothers for three percussionists, the first composition by Michael Colgrass (19), is performed for the first time, at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana where he is a student. The composer plays one of the parts. As he leaves the hall, he says to himself, “I’m a composer.”
September 26, 1957: West Side Story, a musical by Leonard Bernstein (38) to words of Sondheim and the composer after Laurents after Shakespeare, opens in New York in the Winter Garden Theatre. It will run for 734 performances, a yearlong national tour and then 249 more performances on Broadway. (for the last nine months of the Broadway run, the drummer will be Michael Colgrass (25)) Producer Harold Prince will later lament that he closed the show two months too soon. See 19 August 1957.
March 31, 1966: Copies of Maurice Ravel’s (†28) Piano Concerto in G are confiscated from the Joffrey Ballet in City Center, New York by lawyers representing the publisher. The Joffrey has been using the music illegally for a choreography called Sea Shadow by Gerald Alpino. Michael Colgrass (33) offers to provide suitably ocean-like improvisations for the performance and he is shown a film of the ballet. Upon seeing the film, Colgrass thinks a new score would be required. Robert Joffrey asks Colgrass to come up with a ballet by rehearsal at 12:30 tomorrow. After being promised all the copyists he needs, Colgrass agrees.
April 1, 1966: After its composition last night, its parts copied in early morning, then later photocopied, and its first rehearsal this afternoon, Sea Shadow, a ballet by Michael Colgrass (33) to a choreography by Gerald Alpino, is performed for the first time, in City Center, New York. Colgrass will receive $500 for his efforts. See 31 March 1966.
May 1, 1974: The Image of Man for chorus and orchestra by Michael Colgrass (42) is performed for the first time, in Spokane, Washington.
January 29, 1976: Concertmasters, a concerto for three violins and orchestra by Michael Colgrass (43), is performed for the first time, in Detroit.
December 1, 1976: Letter from Mozart by Michael Colgrass (44) is performed for the first time, in New York.
October 20, 1977: Deja Vu for percussion quartet and orchestra by Michael Colgrass (45) is performed for the first time, in New York. See 17 April 1978.
April 17, 1978: Michael Colgrass (45) wins the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Deja Vu for percussion and orchestra . See 20 October 1977.
June 25, 1982: Memento, a concerto for two pianos and orchestra by Michael Colgrass (50), is performed for the first time, in Miami.
September 27, 1984: Chaconne for viola and orchestra by Michael Colgrass (52) is performed for the first time, in Toronto.
February 14, 1985: Winds of Nagual--Musical Fable for Wind Ensemble on the Writings of Carlos Castaneda by Michael Colgrass (52) is performed for the first time, at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston.
October 29, 2000: Ghosts of Pangea, a fantasy of cultures meeting for orchestra by Michael Colgrass (68) is performed for the first time, at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
April 6, 2001: Dream Dancer, fantasy of a soul moving between two cultures for alto saxophone and wind orchestra by Michael Colgrass (68) is performed for the first time, in Jordan Hall, Boston.
March 7, 2002: Crossworlds for flute, piano, and orchestra by Michael Colgrass (69) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston.
April 19, 2006: Raag Mala for wind ensemble by Michael Colgrass (73) is performed for the first time.
November 10, 2006: Old Churches for chorus by Michael Colgrass (74) is performed for the first time, in Louisville.