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Nordic Vocal Literature & Repertoire Diversification

Colin has been on Music History Faculty at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute since 2013, and is currently the Program Music History Coordinator, in addition to being the principal lecturer. He is a board member for the website SongHelix, as the editor for Nordic art song. He has appeared as a guest lecturer at the Mannes School of Music in Graduate performance practice and Concordia College, with upcoming lectures including a week long series of classes on Nordic Art Song and Phonetics in Graduate Vocal Literature at his alma mater University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana, a Lecture Recital on the implementation of Icelandic Vocal Repertoire in Higher Education at the Sam Houston State University Art Song Festival, and Icelandic Art Song repertory at University of Wisconsin: Oshkosh as a guest of noted Scandinavian music expert Anna Hersey. He will be presenting with research partner Cayla Rosché the paper “Performance practice and pedagogical studies within the idiomatic quality of the Icelandic language in establishing a national art song tradition” at the annual Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study conference in May 2021. He additionally recorded for both WNYC in New York City, as well as National Public Radio, discussing the music of Richard Wagner on a segment entitled "The Sexual Mystery" in the internationally broadcast weeklong show, The Tristan Mysteries.


Regularly requested for consultation to aid repertoire selections, Colin frequently works with University professors, students at the Doctoral, Masters, and Undergraduate level, and Young Artists programs. Colin Levin is a Nordic Song specialist, with an especially extensive background in the repertoire and lyric diction of Icelandic art song. He additional specializes in Repertoire Diversification, with significant experience in programming queer, female, and BIPOC composers, in the anticipation of this being the industry standard. He will be presenting a series of courses for The Empowered Musician in 2021 focusing on the implementation of female/BIPOC composers for the Studio teacher.


Colin Levin holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Musicology from the Oberlin Conservatory, and a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Literature from the University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana, in addition to extensive Vocal Literature study at the Doctoral level at Rutgers University. He began researching Nordic Song post a winter term in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2007, with specific focus on Icelandic song following an artist-in-residence position at the Landakotsskóli School in Reykjavík, Iceland in the Spring of 2017.


Below is a list of the different courses, coachings, and consultations that Colin offers, as well as their description. To inquire about any of the following, please email Colin directly.

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Nordic Repertoire


Colin teaches semi-annual Zoom Vocal Literature courses on Nordic Repertoire. In the summer of 2020 he taught a seven-week course, A History of Scandinavian Vocal Literature focusing on Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish repertoire, and in early 2021 taught the subsequent course Songs of Denmark and the Nordic Isles focusing on Danish and Icelandic art song. Courses include a survey of the art songs of the major Nordic composers, as well as the poets that influenced them. Each class consists of history lectures, an introduction to the IPA of the languages, and frequent in-class performances. Each individual is assigned at least two songs to perform during the course, with optional reading and listening assignments to enhance the learning experience. Leading experts in the field of Nordic Vocal Literature frequently join as guest lecturers, with recent guests including Anna Hersey and Cayla Rosché.

Abstract Structure



In the Spring of 2021 Colin will be offering two courses: 


1. An introduction to Norwegian and Finnish Vocal Literature and Phonetics


2. Advanced Topics in Nordic Vocal Literature: The foundational Female Composers of Scandinavia and the Nordic Isles


* Dates and Prices to be posted in March 2021

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Nordic Language Coaching,

Repertoire, & IPA Transcriptions

Colin coaches repertoire in Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish, as well as offers consultation on Nordic Opera arias, Oratorio selections, and art songs. All coachings include IPA transcripts (excluding Finnish translation) created for the repertoire that the client is preparing.


Colin additionally writes IPA transcriptions for all of the aforementioned languages. Please allow one week for each transcription. Priority transcription delivery is priced accordingly.

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Repertoire Diversification


Colin is available for consultation in the implementation of repertoire diversification within University departments, or for the individual. Repertoire lists with specific repertoire goals built per client or Department. 
There are currently few resources for English speakers to access information online about much of the Nordic Art Song repertory*, with especially minimal information on Icelandic Art Song. I am collaborating with databases such as SongHelix in the hope of giving a larger audience the tools to explore this wonderful literature. I am currently developing a database for this literature, and am hopeful that it will be finished in 2021. Stay tuned!
* Swedish Song has a comprehensive database that can be explored at https://www.swedishmusicalheritage.com.

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