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Michael Collins

Biography

Born: January 27, 1962; Isleworth, England  
Michael Collins is among the most prominent British clarinetists of his generation. He has appeared in concert as principal clarinetist with the Philharmonia Orchestra and London Sinfonietta, as a member of the Nash Ensemble, and as a freelance soloist and chamber player. He has made more than 30 recordings for the Hyperion label since 1984, mostly in chamber music fare. He has also recorded for DG, Chandos, and EMI. His repertory is broad, Read more taking in much British music, however, including works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Walton, Arnold, Bax, and Bliss. He has also performed and recorded large chunks from the output of disparate European composers like Mozart, Brahms, Spohr, Poulenc, Bartók, Richard Strauss, and Suk. In addition, Collins has premiered important works by contemporary composers, including Richard Rodney Bennett and John Adams.

Collins was born in Isleworth (west London), England. He enrolled at the Royal College of Music in London in his early teens. His chief teachers there were David Hamilton and Thea King. By age 16 he attained virtuoso status, winning the woodwind prize at the 1978 BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition.

The year 1981 was a watershed one for the young Collins: he joined both the London Sinfonietta and Nash Ensemble. He debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1982, and the following year made his first recording as a member of the Nash Ensemble -- A Centenary Tribute (chamber music of Lennox Berkeley). In 1984 he recorded three volumes of chamber music by Arnold with the Nash Ensemble and also debuted at the Promenade Concerts as soloist in an acclaimed performance of Musgrave's Clarinet Concerto.

In 1985 Collins began teaching at the Royal College of Music and two years later accepted the post of principal clarinetist for the Philharmonia Orchestra. Collins founded the chamber ensemble London Winds in 1988, a group he has toured with throughout Europe, the U.S., and Canada.

Collins left his posts at the Philhamonia and RCM in 1995 to concentrate on freelance work. In the latter twentieth and early twenty first centuries, he has been appearing as soloist and as chamber music partner to many of the leading musicians of the day, including Martha Argerich, Mikhail Pletnev, Joshua Bell, and Yuri Bashmet.

Among Collins' most recent recordings are his 2003 Chandos CD of Edward Gregson's Clarinet Concerto and the 2005 release on Hyperion of Spohr's Clarinet Concertos No. 1 and No. 2. Read less
Browse 1-21 of 21 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Show Boat
    Label: Varese Sarabande   Catalog: 067186 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerome Kern
    Performer:  Don McKay,  Marlys Watters,  Inia Te Wiata,  Shirley Bassey  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
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  • 2.
    Mozart, Copland, Kats-Chernin: Works for Clarinet & Orchestra / Collins
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10756 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Aaron Copland,  Elena Kats-Chernin
    Performer:  Michael Collins
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 3.
    British Clarinet Concertos: Stanford, Finzi, Arnold
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10739 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Malcolm Arnold,  Gerald Finzi
    Performer:  Michael Collins
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Stereo Into The Sixties
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5192 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Herman Clebanoff,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Performer:  Russ Conway,  Neill Sanders
    Conductor:  Frederick Fennell,  Herman Clebanoff,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ferrante & Teicher
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  • 5.
    Voices Of Italian Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40509 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Edita Gruberova,  Margherita Carosio,  Francesco Meli  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Evelino Pidò  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 6.
    Best Overtures 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27333 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    Weber: Clarinet Concertos 1 & 2, Concertinos / Collins, Stirling, City Of London Sinfonia
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10702 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Michael Collins,  Stephen Stirling
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 8.
    Best Wedding 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48501 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Richard Wagner,  Giovanni Battist Martini,  Norwegian Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Parker-Smith,  Maurice André,  Frederic Bayco,  Wayne Marshall  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery,  David Munrow  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 9.
    Essential Puccini
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07139 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus,  Mirella Freni,  Nicolai Gedda,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Thomas Schippers,  Antonio Pappano,  Anton Guadagno  ... 
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  • 10.
    Hail Bop! A Potrait Of John Adams
    Label: Tony Palmer Films   Catalog: 1620 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Adams
    Performer:  Ernst Kovacic,  James Maddalena,  Trudy Ellen Craney,  Emanuel Ax
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
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  • 11.
    Best Tenor Voices 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06701 Release Date: 10/06/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Corinna Vozza,  Adriana Lazzarini,  Rolando Villazón  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini,  Marcello Viotti,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Alain Lombard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 12.
    Best Wedding 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64262 Release Date: 06/16/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Christopher van Kampen,  Susan Tomes  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Reginald Kilbey,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Vienna String Sextet Members,  Ensemble Berlin  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 13.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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    CD: $68.99
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  • 14.
    100 Best Tenor Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 242720 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Peter Haage  ... 
    Conductor:  Jacques Delacôte,  Berislav Klobucar,  Bernard Haitink,  Heinz Wallberg  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 15.
    Mozart: Serenades K 361 And K 388 / Collins, London Winds
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4012 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Winds
    Recommendation
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 16.
    Benatzky & Stolz: White Horse Inn Highlights; Youmans / Braden
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 35952 Release Date: 03/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Stolz,  Ralph Benatzky,  Vincent Youmans
    Performer:  Barbara Leigh,  Kevin Scott,  David Croft,  Marion Grimaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Collins,  Johnny Douglas,  Alan Braden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michael Collins Orchestra,  Rita Williams Singers,  Mike Sammes Singers  ... 
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  • 17.
    Clutsam: Lilac Time Highlights; Forrest: Song Of Norway Highlights
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 35989 Release Date: 03/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George H. Clutsam,  George Forrest
    Performer:  June Bronhill,  John Cameron,  Marion Grimaldi,  Barry Kent  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michael Collins Orchestra,  Rita Williams Singers
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  • 18.
    Lehar: Merry Widow Highlights; Cuvillier & Carr, Kerker
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 35981 Release Date: 03/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustave A. Kerker,  Charles Cuvillier,  Franz Lehár
    Performer:  Barry Kent,  Mary Thomas,  Charles Young,  Aileen Cochrane  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Collins,  Vilem Tausky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michael Collins Orchestra,  Rita Williams Singers,  Vilem Tausky Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    O. Straus: A Waltz Dream Highlights / Collins
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 35990 Release Date: 03/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oscar Straus,  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Performer:  Elizabeth Osborne,  David Hughes,  Marion Grimaldi,  June Bronhill  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michael Collins Orchestra,  Rita Williams Singers
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  • 20.
    Charles Craig - Operatic Arias & Italian Songs
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1152 Release Date: 12/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Ciampi,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Santiago Cittadini  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Craig
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 21.
    Puccini: Arias;  Favourite Ballads / Charles Craig, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1151 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Helen Guy,  Albert Hay Malotte,  Stephen Adams,  Mischa Spoliansky  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Craig
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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