Prof Chris Collins
Head of School / Professor
Position: Head of School, Director of University Music
Phone: +44 (0) 1248 388108
Location: School of Music
Chris Collins joined the lecturing staff of the School of Music in 2001 after completing a PhD on European influences on the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla (1876-1946). He has worked extensively on early twentieth-century music in France and Spain, and has more recently branched out into the study of 1960s popular music. Current projects include a monograph for Cambridge University Press on Falla’s experience of music by composers of other nationalities, and a new critical edition of Falla’s prose writings with Elena Torres Clemente (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).
He is enthused by a very wide range of music, and his teaching reflects this, encompassing music history of all periods, word/music relations, and practical musicianship. He has conducted the University Chorus, the University Symphony Orchestra and the University Opera Group for a number of years, in works by composers as diverse as Stravinsky, Sibelius, Bruckner, Mozart and Monteverdi.
He was awarded a Bangor University Honorary Teaching Fellowship in 2007, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was a member of the QAA benchmark revision panel for Music in 2015-16, and has been an adviser to a number of organisations on music education at all levels. He is a Council Member of the Royal Musical Association. He was appointed Head of Music at Bangor University in 2012, and was awarded a Personal Chair in 2016. His rare moments of spare time are spent listening to music, mountain walking, reading and cycling.
Chris teaches a wide range of musicological and practical topics. He currently co-ordinates and teaches the following modules:
- WXM1001 / WXM1002 The Study of Music
- WXM2117 / WXM3117 The Twentieth-Century Symphony
- WXM2154 / WXM3154 Wagner
- WXM2160 / WXM3160 The Beatles
- WXM2171 / WXM3171 Manuel de Falla
- WXM2174 / WXM3174 Debussy and Ravel
- WXM2211 Musicology Year 2
- WXM3176 / WXM3177 Dissertation
- WXP3249 Conducting
- WMP4101 Music in Historical Context
- WMP4105 Contemporary Music Practice
Current PhD students
- Emma Peake: Emma is working on musicians’ health
- Matthias Wurz: Matthias is working on the music of Arnold Schoenberg
- Sa Do Kim: Sa Do is working on combining Korean folk music with Western classical music
Chris’s research encompasses a range of musicological approaches, including biographical, historical and documentary research, analysis, aesthetics, literary associations, and sketch studies. His key research interests are:
- Manuel de Falla
- Music in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Europe (especially Spain, France, and the Nordic countries)
- Word/music relations in opera and song
- Sketch studies
- Music pedagogy
- Popular music and culture in 1960s Britain
- Women in music
- Compuesta a toda velocidad: El amor brujo como debut del compositor profesionalCollins, C 2018, Compuesta a toda velocidad: El amor brujo como debut del compositor profesional. in E Torres Clemente, FJ Giménez Rodríguez, C Aguilar Hernández & D González Mesa (eds), El amor brujo, metáfora de la modernidad: Estudios en torno a Manuel de Falla y la música española del siglo XX. Centro de Documentación de Música y Danza-INAEM, Madrid, pp. 55.
- Principios rotacionales y forma teleológica en el Concerto de FallaCollins, C 2013, 'Principios rotacionales y forma teleológica en el Concerto de Falla' Quodlibet, no. 53, pp. 24-42.
- Working at the Words/Music Interface: Models of Collaboration.Collins, CG, Abbott, HM, Abbott, H & Collins, C 2010, 'Working at the Words/Music Interface: Models of Collaboration.' Contemporary Music Review, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 159-169. DOI: 10.1080/07494467.2010.534924
- Les relations amicales et artistiques entre Koechlin et Manuel de Falla.Collins, CG, Collins, C & Benoit-Otis, MH (ed.) 2010, Les relations amicales et artistiques entre Koechlin et Manuel de Falla. in Charles Koechlin: Compositeur et Humaniste. 2010 edn, Librairie Philosophique Vrin, pp. 527-543.
- Music and Poetry in fin-de-siècle Paris: a study day.Collins, CG, Abbott, H & Collins, C 2009, 'Music and Poetry in fin-de-siècle Paris: a study day.' Paper presented at Oxford Lieder Festival, Oxford., 3/01/01, .
- Spanning a frontier: Manuel de Falla’s Trois Mélodies and multinational identity.Collins, CG & Collins, C 2009, 'Spanning a frontier: Manuel de Falla’s Trois Mélodies and multinational identity.' Paper presented at Sixth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900, Keele., 3/01/01, .
- Les relations amicales et artistiques entre Koechlin et Manuel de Falla.Collins, CG & Collins, C 2006, 'Les relations amicales et artistiques entre Koechlin et Manuel de Falla.' Paper presented at Colloque International Charles Koechlin, Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, 28-30 November 2006., 3/01/01, .
- Luz en la oscuridad: observaciones sobre la composición de las Noches de Falla.Collins, CG, Collins, C & Nommick, Y (ed.) 2006, Luz en la oscuridad: observaciones sobre la composición de las Noches de Falla. in Manuel de Falla: Noches en los jardines de España: edición facsímil de los manuscritos XLIX A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 y A6 del Archivo Manuel de Falla, y de manuscritos del Archivo de Valentín Ruiz Aznar. 2006 edn, Publicaciones del Archivo Manuel de Falla and Junta de Andalucía, pp. xvii-lxxiii.
- Don’s delights, review of Carol A. Hess, Sacred Passions: the life and music of Manuel de Falla (New York, 2005)Collins, CG & Collins, C Don’s delights, review of Carol A. Hess, Sacred Passions: the life and music of Manuel de Falla (New York, 2005).
- Falla in Europe: Relations with his contemporaries.Collins, CG, Collins, C & Harper, NL (ed.) 2005, Falla in Europe: Relations with his contemporaries. in Manuel de Falla. 2005 edn, Scarecrow, pp. 247-84.
- Images of Spain, review of Matthew Brown, Debussy’s Ibéria (Cambridge: CUP, 2003)Collins, CG & Collins, C Images of Spain, review of Matthew Brown, Debussy’s Ibéria (Cambridge: CUP, 2003).
- Memoires intimes, review of Samuel Hsu, Sidney Grolnic and Mark Peters (eds.), Claude Debussy As I Knew Him and other writings (Rochester, NY, 2003)Collins, CG & Collins, C Memoires intimes, review of Samuel Hsu, Sidney Grolnic and Mark Peters (eds.), Claude Debussy As I Knew Him and other writings (Rochester, NY, 2003).
- Northern light, review of Daniel M. Grimley (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Sibelius (Cambridge, 2004)Collins, CG & Collins, C Northern light, review of Daniel M. Grimley (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Sibelius (Cambridge, 2004).
- The Passion of YouthCollins, CG & Collins, C 2004, 'The Passion of Youth' Paper presented at La vida breve in Leeds, Newcastle, Salford, Nottingham and at Sadler’s Wells, 3/01/01, .
- Manuel de Falla, L'acoustique nouvelle and Natural Resonance: A Myth Exposed.Collins, CG & Collins, C 2003, 'Manuel de Falla, L'acoustique nouvelle and Natural Resonance: A Myth Exposed.' Journal of the Royal Musical Association, vol. 128, no. 1, pp. 71-97. DOI: 10.1093/jrma/128.1.71
- Falla in Britain.Collins, CG & Collins, C 2003, 'Falla in Britain.' Musical Times, vol. 144, pp. 33-48. DOI: 10.2307/3650680
Public Lectures and Conference Papers
- ‘Beth ddysgodd Sgt. Pepper gan y syrcas / What the circus taught Sgt. Pepper’, public lecture, Crosville Club, Bangor, 23 July 2015; also Festival No. 6, Portmeirion, 10 September 2017; also Conwy Feast, Conwy, 29 October 2017.
- ‘Compuesta a toda velocidad: El amor brujo como primera obra del compositor profesional’, El amor brujo, metáfora de la modernidad (1915-2015), Palacio de la Madraza, Granada, 8-10 July 2015.
- ‘Mr Kite des Beatles: souvenir psychédélique de la tradition britannique du cirque forain’, Musique et Cirque: Un relation féconde, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier (Montpellier III), 13-14 November 2014.
- ‘European models for a Spanish opera: the special case of Falla's La vida breve’, research seminar, University of Aberdeen, 24 April 2014.
- ‘Manuel de Falla in circles: rotational form and teleological genesis in the Concerto’, snapshot seminar, Bangor University, 19 February 2014.
- 'Modelos europeos para un ópera española: estilo, estructura y tejido temático', Congreso Internacional en el centenario de 'La vida breve', Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 27 November 2013.
- 'Style, structure and motivic fabric in Falla's La vida breve', Eighth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900, Liverpool Hope University, 13 September 2013.
- Guest scholar for ‘Debussy Premieres’, symposium held as part of The Prismatic Debussy festival, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, New York, 27 October 2012.
- ‘Baudelaire and his composers’ and ‘Harmonising poetry and music: a case study’, papers given jointly with Helen Abbott as part of the Music and poetry in fin-de-siècle Paris study day at the Oxford Lieder Festival, 31 October 2009.
- ‘Spanning a frontier: Manuel de Falla’s Trois mélodies and multinational identity’, Sixth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900, Keele University, 2-5 July 2009.
- ‘A Frenchman’s Spain through the eyes of a Spaniard: Manuel de Falla’s setting of Théophile Gautier’s “Séguidille”’, Nineteenth-century French Poetry: Transpositions of Thought and Form in the Nineteenth Century and Beyond, Bangor University, 21 February 2009.
- ‘Manuel de Falla’s formative years: filling in the gaps’, paper given in the Directions in Musical Research seminar series, Institute of Musical Research, University of London, 19 February 2009.
- ‘European Music in late nineteenth-century Cádiz: Falla’s childhood experiences’, research seminar, Bangor University, 30 September 2008.
Community Engagement and Impact
- Council Member of the Royal Musical Association (2017-)
- Advisor on the Expressive Arts in the Curriculum, Welsh Government (2017-)
- Member of QAA Benchmark Review Group for Music (2015-16)
- Convenor of BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference (2016)
- Adviser to various awarding bodies
- Validation and external examining at Universities of Bath Spa, Birmingham, Sheffield, West London, Granada, Melbourne and Liverpool Hope
- Board member, Codi’r To - Sistema Cymru (2014-)
- Committee member (2014) and Vice-Chair (2015-7) of the National Association for Music in Higher Education
- Guest faculty member, Curso de análisis musical: Wagner y Falla: de Tristan e Isolda a La vida breve, Cursos internacionales Manuel de Falla, Granada, November 2013.
- Programme notes for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera North and Bangor University.
- Various broadcast interviews on BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales, BBC 1 Wales and ITV 1 Wales.