Professor of Music
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Researcher of the Year
Christopher Dingle is a specialist in French Music, notably Messiaen, and the history and practice of Music Criticism. Messiaen’s Un oiseau des arbres de Vie (orchestration realized by Dingle), received its world premiere at the 2015 BBC Proms. His next Messiaen project will be an exploration of the oratorio La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ drawing on previously unseen sketch material. Chris is co-director of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's French Music Research Hub.
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). Chris is an experienced supervisor of research degrees to successful completion and he would like to hear from potential research/graduate students with interests that relate to his research areas.
Chris is author of Messiaen’s Final Works (Ashgate, 2013) and the acclaimed biography The Life of Messiaen (Cambridge University Press, 2007). He 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 Messiaen 2008 Centenary Conference hosted by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in June 2008, having previously conceived and organised 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.