Colin McAllister engages deeply with cross-disciplinary ideas in the humanities, particularly the intersection between music and history, classics and theology. His performances as a guitarist have been hailed as “sparkling….delivered superbly” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “ravishing” (San Diego Union Tribune), and he has recorded on the Innova, Centaur, Naxos, Albany, Old King Cole, Vienna Modern Masters, Carrier and Tzadik labels. He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Apocalyptic Literature (forthcoming 2019) and has two publications with Productions d’OZ: The Vanguard Guitar and Fourteenth Century Counterpoint: Music of the Chantilly Codex. The Vanguard Guitar was praised by Soundboard magazine as “a great success…not only a primer of modern techniques, but also a library of current performance practices.” His guitar instructional course, Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales and Solos was produced by The Great Courses and released to critical acclaim in April 2017. Colin is an Artist Partner with Taylor Guitars.
A dedicated performer of contemporary repertoire, Colin has given over 100 first performances, including the U.S. premiere of works by leading European composers Chaya Czernowin, Franco Donatoni, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, Vinko Globokar, Helmut Lachenmann and Rolf Riehm. He has performed throughout North America and Europe including the Monday Evening Concerts, New Music Miami, San Francisco sfSound, Darmstadt International Music Festival, Festival Hispanoamericano de Guitarra, Dallas Festival of Modern Music, Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez in Mexico City, PRISMS New Music, Seattle Transport Jazz, Breda Jazz Festival, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS). As a guest artist, he has appeared with the San Diego Opera, San Diego Symphony, Colorado Symphony and the La Jolla Symphony. He is the guitarist and conductor for the ensemble NOISE, and a co-founder of the SoundON Festival of Modern Music, held every January in La Jolla, California. He is a member of the jazz ensemble, the Hennessy 6, and performs frequently with tenor and guitarist Derek Keller as the McAlllister-Keller Duo.
His research interests include third and fourth century apocalyptic literature, the early medieval commentary tradition on the Revelation of John, and apocalyptic paradigms in music. Current book projects include producing the first English translation of the 8th century Cambridge Glossa in Apocalypsin (edited by Msgr. Roger Gryson in the Brepols series Corpus Christianorum) and, in collaboration with Lorenzo DiTommaso of Concordia University, co-editing a collection of essays entitled Dies Irae, Dies Illa: Music in the Apocalyptic Mode. Each spring, he hosts Through a Glass Darkly: UCCS Symposium on Apocalyptic at the Heller Center for Arts & Humanities.
Colin earned both the Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of California, San Diego, where he studied guitar with Los Romeros and Stuart Fox, interpretation with Bertram Turetzky, and conducting with Harvey Sollberger and Rand Steiger. He currently serves as Director of the Music Program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.