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 1-13 of 13 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: And At The Piano.
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5229 Release Date: 02/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Francis McHugh,  Camillo Bargoni,  Richard Rodgers,  Evelyn Danzig  ... 
    Performer:  Skitch Henderson,  Russ Conway,  Carmen Cavallaro,  Peter Nero  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Collins,  Morris Stoloff,  Marty Gold,  Percy Faith  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 2.
    Music for Winds / London Winds
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 18076 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  György Ligeti,  Samuel Barber,  Carl Nielsen,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Winds
    CD: $18.99
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  • 3.
    Show Boat / 1959 London Studio Cast
    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
    CD: $13.99
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  • 4.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    British Clarinet Concertos: Stanford, Finzi, Arnold
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10739 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Malcolm Arnold,  Gerald Finzi,  Charles Villiers Stanford
    Performer:  Michael Collins
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    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
    Recommendation
    On sale! $19.98
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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.
    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
    On sale! $22.99
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    Where's Charley? / Original London Cast
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 65071 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Loesser
    Performer:  Jerry Desmonde,  Felix Felton,  Pamela Gale,  Pip Hinton  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michael Collins Orchestra
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    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 11.
    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
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    On sale! $24.98
    CD: $21.99
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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
    On sale! $25.98
    CD: $21.99
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