Peter Collyer

Head of School, Music and Performing Arts
Peter Collyer

Peter came to Morley College as Programme Manager for Classical Music in April 2014 and moved to the new role of Head of School, Music and Performing Arts in September 2015.  He graduated from the Royal College of Music with the viola recital prize in 1984 and enjoyed a wide-ranging performing and teaching career for thirty years before taking up his first post at Morley.

Peter joined the staff at the University of Southampton in 1995. He was appointed Head of Early Music Studies there in 1998 and Head of Performance in 2002. He left Southampton in 2007 to complete his MMus in musicology and in 2008 was awarded funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to study towards a PhD at the University of Leeds (completed in 2012), joining a major research project looking at the historical performance practice implications of nineteenth and early twentieth century string chamber music editions. He has presented research papers at the Universities of Leeds, Cardiff and Manchester and at the Royal Northern College of Music and had his research published in the journal Early Music Performer. Between 2009 and 2014 he taught at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and he was external examiner for undergraduate performance at the University of Bristol from 2012-2014. He was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2013.

On the concert platform Peter specialised in historical performance and was the violist with Ensemble DeNOTE and Principal Viola with La Serenissima, The London Handel Orchestra and The London Handel Players. He was a member of the English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique from 1989-1999, taking part in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s award-winning recordings of the complete Beethoven Symphonies and Mozart Operas, and he also toured and recorded with groups including the Academy of Ancient Music,  English Concert and the Irish Baroque Orchestra.  For many years he was active on the West End circuit and played in countless performances of shows such as ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Martin Guerre’, ‘Miss Saigon’, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, ‘South Pacific’ and ‘The King and I’. He played in the backing band when Robbie Williams first sang ‘Angels’ on television (Parkinson, 1997), on numerous pop albums by bands such as Terrorvision, Muse and Feeder, and toured with the Spice Girls. He can be seen (very briefly) in the feature film adaptations of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’.  

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