Dr Peter Collyer was appointed as Director of Musical Performance and Performance Studies at the Faculty of Music in July 2020. Dr Collyer works with students on the Faculty’s examined performance modules as well as coordinating performance opportunities for students across the Faculty.
Peter has enjoyed a wide-ranging career as a viola player spanning 30 years of performances and recordings with many of the UK’s leading ensembles and orchestras. Peter specialises in historical performance and has been 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 and he has also toured and recorded with groups including the Academy of Ancient Music and the London Classical Players. He has appeared as Guest-Principal Viola with the English Concert, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, The Dunedin Consort and the Orquestra Barroca Casa da Música in Portugal, and as a soloist at the Tilford Bach Festival.
Throughout his career he has maintained a firm foothold in the world of ‘modern’ performance, joining Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra straight from music college and then going on to freelance with ensembles including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Matrix Ensemble. He was a band member for West End productions of Martin Guerre, Follies, On Your Toes, Singin’ in the Rain and South Pacific (Royal National Theatre) and also played in countless performances of shows such as Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, and The King and I. He played in the backing band when Robbie Williams first sang ‘Angels’ on television (Parkinson, 1997), on numerous 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’.
Away from the concert platform, Peter has worked as a teacher, lecturer and researcher since 1995 when he joined the staff at the University of Southampton. He was appointed Head of Early Music Studies there in 1998 and Head of Performance in 2002. In 2008 he was awarded funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to study towards a PhD at the University of Leeds (completed in 2012He was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2013. 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. Most recently he spent five years as the Head of Music and Performing Arts at Morley College London, where he coordinated the launch of the ground-breaking ‘Women Conductors at Morley course’ in 2015, the introduction of higher education courses in 2017, and led the biggest expansion in performance activities at Morley in its 130 year history.