Stuart McCallum

Photo of Stuart McCallum

Deputy Head of Popular Music and Creative Multi-Specialist Professor of Guitar, Composition and Production

BMus, MMus

Email: [email protected]

  • Deputy Head of Popular Music
  • Tutor in Guitar for Year 4 and Masters Popular Music students
  • Tutor on Collaborative Composition module for Year 3 Popular Music students
  • Tutor on Creative Music Production module for Years 1&2 Popular Music students
  • Year Tutor – SPOP Years 3 and 4

From jazz beginnings to alt-folk and electronica, Stuart McCallum is one of the most vital and creative musicians of his generation. An in-demand guitarist, composer, producer and educator, Stuart’s current projects include:

  • The Breath – signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records, the duo of Stuart and vocalist Rioghnach Connolly was nominated for Best Act at the BBC Folk Awards.

  • Solitude – a series of solo acoustic guitar albums released on Edition Records.

  • Music for Imaginary Film – a series of cinematic-inspired albums co-written with Mark Slater

  • Richard Spaven – co-writing and performing with the well known UK drummer

  • Research – Stuart’s research interests are practice-based approaches to contemporary music performance, composition and production. He completed his musical composition doctorate, ‘Making Music in the Real World’, in 2020.

Stuart rose to prominence writing for and playing with the Cinematic Orchestra, on their Ma Fleur and Live at the Royal Albert Hall albums, as well as on their award winning Disney soundtrack, The Crimson Wing.

Stuart’s varied career has involved collaborations with electronic artists such as Jordan Rakei, James Zoo, JP Cooper and Bjork percussionist Manu Delago; performances with UK jazz greats John Surman and Kenny Wheeler; recordings with American jazz stars Ari Hoenig, Ira Coleman and Dan Weisz;  and performances with prominent folk artists, such as Danny Thompson and Michael McGoldrick.

Personal Website

Current and Future Research

Immersive Audio Research

Music-making in Ambisonics, Dolby Atmos and live speaker arrays (Meyer, DnB Soundscape) – upscaling stereo mixes, developing plug-in templates, incorporating immersive audio practices and techniques in composition and production.


PhD in Music by Composition

Through reflective critique and observation of the roles Stuart undertakes during his collaborative music-making practices, with particular reference to the evolution of his individual studio-based working methods, this PhD offers insight into the working practice of a contemporary music practitioner. The main outcome of this practice-as-research is to offer further and deeper understandings of contemporary music practice and to show the interplay between the social, cultural, technological, architectural, musical and environmental forces in the writing and recording of new music.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • BMus Popular Music

Postgraduate Teaching

  • MMus Popular Music

Selected Outputs


  • Stuart McCallum The Dark Monarch, , Tate St Ives
  • Stuart McCallum Musicity, , Tokyo
  • Stuart McCallum Channel Four, , Manchester Jazz Festival
  • Stuart McCallum Guitar in the 21st Century, , Hull Jazz Festival
  • Stuart McCallum The Darktown Cakewalk, , Glasgow International Festival
  • Stuart McCallum Bold By Name, Bold By Nature, , Liverpool Biennial
  • Stuart McCallum Manchester Hill Remembered, , Manchester Cathedral
  • Recordings

  • Stuart McCallum The Ultimate Form,
  • Stuart McCallum Lewis Banks – Aesthetic Emotion, Lewis Banks
  • Paul Booth – No Looking Back,
  • Olivia Moore – Amoghasiddi,
  • Manu Delago – Made In Silence 2,
  • Manu Delago – Bigger Than Home,
  • Slowly Rolling Camera – Into The Shadow,
  • Slowly Rolling Camera – All Things,
  • Slowly Rolling Camera – Juniper,
  • Slowly Rolling Camera – Where The Streets Lead,
  • Zoe Kyoti – Wishbone,
  • Exit Music: Songs With Radio Heads,
  • Cinematic Orchestra – Ma Fleur,
  • Cinematic Orchestra – Live At The Royal Albert Hall,
  • Cinematic Orchestra – The Crimson Wing,
  • Cinematic Orchestra – Late Night Tales,
  • Jon Thorne / Danny Thompson – Watching The Well,
  • Baylis Howard McCallum,
  • Richard Spaven – Whole Other,
  • Richard Spaven – The Self,
  • Richard Spaven – Real Time,
  • Sean Foran / Stuart McCallum – Counterpart,
  • Jordan Rakei – Speak,
  • Stuart McCallum – Echo Architect,
  • Stuart McCallum – Stuart McCallum,
  • Stuart McCallum – Distilled,
  • Stuart McCallum – Distilled Live,
  • Stuart McCallum / Mike Walker – Beholden,
  • Stuart McCallum – City,
  • Stuart McCallum – City Live,
  • Stuart McCallum / Mike Walker – The Space Between,
  • The Breath – Carry Your Kin,
  • The Breath – Let The Cards Fall,
  • The Breath – Acoustic,
  • The Breath – Only Stories (Let The Cards Fall Revisited),
  • Stuart McCallum Stuart McCallum – Solitude, Acoustic guitar and electronics, Edition Records
  • Stuart McCallum Stuart McCallum – Solitude Part ii, Edition Records
  • Stuart McCallum Strømme – Acoustic Meditations, E2
  • Stuart McCallum / Richard Spaven / Jordan Rakei / Barney Artist Richard Spaven – Spirit Beats,
  • Stuart McCallum / Mark Slater Subsona – Music for Imaginary Film,

Professional Activity

  • Solitude. This series of solo acoustic guitar albums explores the subtleties and emotive nuances of the acoustic guitar in a breathtakingly beautiful way. ‘Master guitarist McCallum’s music is heaven sent. Beautifully crafted, warm blooded, folk and jazz inspired magical stuff….’ WRITTEN IN MUSIC

  • The Breath is the duo of Manchester-based singer/flautist Ríoghnach Connolly with guitar whiz, Stuart McCallum. Connolly is Armagh-born with a remarkable and distinctive, stop-you-in-your-tracks voice and a deep elegiac sensibility. From jazz beginnings to alt folk and electronica, McCallum is an in-demand guitarist combining both acoustic and electronic instruments to give his music a distinctive sound. The Breath have released three albums on Real World Records, two with a full band complete with mesmerising guitar riffs, expansive arrangements and layered vocal harmonies, the other, stripped bare in a duo setting allowing the depth and beauty of their heartfelt songs and Ríoghnach’s impassioned voice to shine through. They triumphed at the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards where Ríoghnach bagged the Folk Singer of The Year award, while the duo was nominated for Best Duo/Group.

  • Music for Imaginary Film. The focus here is evocation of mood, affording the listener freedom to imagine their own narrative. Combining electronics, orchestral strings, piano and acoustic guitar, composers Stuart McCallum and Mark Slater create dark, intimate contemplations and mesmerising widescreen landscapes.

  • Discography

    • Richard Spaven – Spirit Beats (2022)
    • Strømme – Acoustic Meditations (2022)
    • Subsona – Music for Imaginary Film (2021)
    • The Breath – Something On Your Mind (2021)
    • The Breath – Only Stories (2019)

    • Stuart McCallum – Solitude part ii (2019)

    • Sean Foran and Stuart McCallum – Counterpart (2019)

    • The Breath – Let The Cards Fall (2018)

    • Stuart McCallum – Solitude (2018)

    • Richard Spaven – Real Time (2018)

    • Slowly Rolling Camera – Juniper (2018)

    • Richard Spaven – The Self (2017)

    • The Breath – Acoustic (2017)

    • Stuart McCallum – City Live EP (2017)

    • Stuart McCallum and Mike Walker – The Space Between (2016)

    • The Breath – Carry Your Kin (2016)

    • Slowly Rolling Camera – All Things (2016)

    • Stuart McCallum – City (2015)

    • Stuart McCallum and Mike Walker – Beholden (2014)

    • Richard Spaven – Whole Other (2014)

    • Slowly Rolling Camera – Into The Shadow (2014)

    • Stuart McCallum – The Ultimate Form (2013)

    • Manu Delago – Bigger Than Home (2013)

    • Stuart McCallum – Distilled Live (2012)

    • Baylis/Howard/McCallum (2011)

    • Stuart McCallum – Distilled (2011)

    • Jon Thorne/Danny Thompson – Watching The Well (2010)

    • Cinematic Orchestra – Late Night Tales (2010)

    • Manu Delago – Made In Silence 2 (2010)

    • Cinematic Orchestra – The Crimson Wing (2010)

    • Stuart McCallum (2009)

    • Cinematic Orchestra – Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2008)

    • Stuart McCallum – Echo Architect (2006)

    • Cinematic Orchestra – Ma Fleur (2006)

    • Radiohead Remix Album – Exit Music – Songs with Radio Heads (2006)

    • Paul Booth – No Looking Back (2006)

    • Neil Yates – New Origins (2005)

    • Don Weller – Electric Octet (2002)