Christopher Dingle

Professor of Music

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
+44 (0)121 331 5901

Christopher Dingle is a specialist in French Music and the history and practice of Music Criticism. Long recognized as a leader in Messiaen scholarship, more recently Chris has turned his attention to his long-standing interest in Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, producing editions of overlooked works as well as preparing a book on the Symphonies Concertantes and Violin Concerti. Chris's realization of the orchestration for Messiaen’s Un oiseau des arbres de Vie (Oiseau Tui), received its world premiere at the 2015 BBC Proms and is published by Editions Alphonse Leduc.

Chris is Associate Director of Research at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Director of the French Music Research Hub, a member of the Forum for 17th- and 18th-century music and a STEAMhouse Fellow. Chris is a highly experienced supervisor of research degrees to successful completion and he is happy to hear from potential research/graduate students with interests that relate to his research areas.

Recent publications include Julian Anderson: Dialogues on Listening, Composing and Culture, a substantial book of conversations between Chris and the composer Julian Anderson was published in 2020 by Boydell & Brewer, and Chris is also editor of The Cambridge History of Music Criticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019). He is author of Messiaen’s Final Works (Ashgate, 2012) and the acclaimed biography The Life of Messiaen (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Chris is also co-editor of Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences and Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception (both Ashgate, 2013) as well as the earlier collection Olivier Messiaen: Music, Art and Literature.

He was the organiser of the of the 12th Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900, hosted by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in June 2022, having previously conceived and organized the Messiaen 2008 Centenary Conference (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) and the Messiaen 2002 International Conference in Sheffield. His research has been funded on several occasions by The British Academy.

He has given numerous talks in the UK and abroad, such as at The Proms, the RNCM, the RAM, the South Bank, King’s Place, on BBC Radio 3 and at the Greenbelt Festival. He is a member of the review panel for BBC Music Magazine, has broadcast for BBC Radio 3, and written for Music and Letters, Tempo, MLA Notes, The Guardian, The Independent, The Herald, The Tablet and Organists’ Review. He is a member of the jury for the 2020 BBC Music Magazine Awards, having previously been on the jury for 2015, 2011 and 2008, and was one of the contributors to 1001 Classical Recordings you must hear before your die, Matthew Rye (ed.), Quarto Press (2007). He has provided programme notes for major record companies, such as EMI and Naxos, and for numerous orchestras and organizations including the Aldeburgh Festival, BBCSO, BBC Singers, BBC Music Magazine, London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Proms and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Originally from Ilford, prior to joining the Conservatoire Chris was a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, having previously been Associate Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Music at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. His graduate and postdoctoral research was all funded by the British Academy. In 1994 he was awarded ‘The Chancellor’s Medal’ for his research into Messiaen and his contribution to the musical life of the University of Sheffield. He plays piano, percussion and bass guitar, is rumoured to be a lapsed oboist and spent several years in his teens failing to master playing the organ.

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