Profile of Professor Chris Collins

Professor Chris Collins
Head of School, Director of University Music
+44 (0) 1248 388108
Ground Floor, 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. 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 and a member of the Royal Musical Association. 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 currently Vice-Chair of the National Association for Music in Higher Education. 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.

Teaching and Supervision

Chris teaches a wide range of musicological and practical topics. He currently co-ordinates and teaches the following modules and subject areas:

  • WXM1001 / WXM1002 The Study of Music
  • WXP1016 Making Music
  • WXC1016 Creu Cerddoriaeth
  • 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
  • WMP4102 20th-/21st-Century Music
  • WMP4105 Contemporary Music Practice

Current Ph.D students

  • Emma Peake: Emma is working on musicians’ health
  • Matthias Wurz: Matthias is working on the music of Arnold Schoenberg


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 Scandinavia)
  • Word/music relations in opera and song
  • Sketch studies
  • Music pedagogy
  • Popular music and culture in 1960s Britain

Publications and Recordings


  • 'Compuesta a toda velocidad: El amor brujo como debut del compositor profesional’, in El amor brujo, metáfora de la modernidad (1915-2015) (forthcoming).
  • 'Mr Kite des Beatles: souvenir psychédélique de la tradition britannique du cirque forain’, in Philippe Goudart and Yvan Nommick (eds.), Musique et Cirque: Une relation féconde (forthcoming).
  • Manuel de Falla: A European Composer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
  • (With Elena Torres Clemente.) Los escritos completos de Manuel de Falla (forthcoming).

Articles and chapters

  • ‘Principios rotacionales y forma teleológica en el Concierto de Falla’, Quodlibet, 53/2 (2013), 24-42.
  • ‘Gautier’s Spain and Falla’s France: voice and modes of performance in “Séguidille”’, Dix Neuf, 17/1 (April 2013), 9-23.
  • (With Helen Abbott.) ‘Working at the Words/Music Interface: Models of Collaboration’, Contemporary Music Review, 29/2 (April 2010), 159-69.
  • ‘Les relations amicales et artistiques entre Koechlin et Manuel de Falla’, in Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis (ed.), Charles Koechlin: Compositeur et Humaniste (Paris: Vrin, 2010), 527-43.
  • ‘Luz en la oscuridad: observaciones sobre la composición de las Noches de Falla’, in Yvan Nommick (ed.), Manuel de Falla: Noches en los jardines de España: edición facsímil de los manuscritos fundamentales del Archivo Manuel de Falla y del Archivo de Valentín Ruiz Aznar (Granada: Publicaciones del Archivo Manuel de Falla, 2006), pp. xvii-lxxiii.
  • ‘Falla in Europe: Relations with his contemporaries’, in Nancy Lee Harper, Manuel de Falla: His Life and Music (Lanham, 2005), 247-84.
  • ‘Falla in Britain’, The Musical Times, cxliv/1883 (Summer 2003), 33-48.
  • ‘Manuel de Falla, L’acoustique nouvelle and Natural Resonance: A Myth Exposed’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 128/1 (May 2003), 71-97.


  • Ed Wright. Polarities: Concerto Grosso for Orchestra and Live Electronics. Bangor University Symphony Orchestra, cond. Chris Collins. 2009. Compact disc. Blipfonica. blip001.

Also: Book reviews in The Musical Times and Fontes Artes Musicae.

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.
  • ‘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.
  • Under Community Engagement and Impact, please change ‘NAMHE committee member (2014)’ to ‘NAMHE committee member (2014) and Vice-Chair (2015-7)’.
  • '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

  • 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 and Melbourne
  • Board member, Codi’r To project (2014-)
  • NAMHE committee member (2014) and Vice-Chair (2015-7)
  • 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.
  • Interview broadcast on Something Else, BBC Radio Wales, 3 April 2011.
  • Authored programme notes for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera North and Bangor University.