Colin Timms studied Music at the University of Cambridge and at King’s College London, where his doctoral research on Steffani’s chamber duets was supervised by Thurston Dart and Brian Trowell. He lectured at the Queen’s University Belfast from 1970 to 1972 and at the University of Birmingham from 1973, and held the Peyton and Barber chair of Music at Birmingham from 1992 until his retirement in 2012.
He is known mainly for his work on Agostino Steffani, Alessandro Stradella and George Frideric Handel. He has edited two volumes of Steffani’s chamber duets and cantatas (published by Garland and A-R Editions), co-edited his correspondence with Giuseppe Riva, published a prize-winning study of Steffani’s life and works, and conducted productions of two of his operas. He has also edited the oratorio San Giovanni Crisostomo and co-edited a volume of cantatas in the opera omnia of Alessandro Stradella and edited two works by Handel – the oratorio Theodora for the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe and the masque Comus (with music by Handel and Arne) for the Novello Handel Edition.
His most recent work includes the edition of Steffani’s Amor vien dal Destino that was used at the Staatsoper Berlin in April 2016 and an article on the composer’s Orlando Generoso in the Hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft, 31 (2016). He is a co-editor of Music in the London Theatre from Purcell to Handel (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and of Agostino Steffani: Europäischer Komponist, hannoverscher Diplomat und Bischof der Leibniz-Zeit (Göttingen: V & R unipress, 2017). Steffani is also the focus of his continuing research.