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.