The music of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Michael Colgrass is the music of our time. His works have been commissioned, performed and recorded by major symphony orchestras and noted soloists around the world, and his distinctive voice - steeped in a number of musical histories and styles - has been praised and lauded by critics and audiences alike. Colgrass' "uncanny ability to write accessible music that simultaneously challenges the intellect and stirs the emotions" is the subject of this book. Colgrass' artistic development; the evolution of his work towards "a polyphony of musics" and his background in acting and theater training are examined at length. Two particular works - Deja vu and Winds of Nagual - are considered in some detail. Colgrass' recent works have involved fusing the many layers of cultural styles, moving towards a grand synthesis of his "counterpoint of characters." Musicians, performers, conductors, admirers of Colgrass' works, wind band enthusiasts, and devotees of contemporary music will all find A Counterpoint of Characters stimulating reading."