Nicolas Collins was born in New York City and studied composition with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University. He has performed as a composer and presented audio installations throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Japan. His music is represented on many recordings. A pioneer in the use of microcomputers in live performance, Collins has made extensive use of "home-made" electronic circuitry, radio, found sound material, and transformed musical instruments. His recent work emphasizes spoken word, and combines idiosyncratic electronics with conventional acoustic instruments.
Collins is also active as a curator of performance and installation art, having produced projects for PS1, The Clocktower, The Kitchen, the Relâche ensemble, STEIM, De IJsbreker, Podewil and the Internationalen Musikfestwochen Luzern. In 1992 he relocated from New York to the Netherlands, where he was for three years Visiting Artistic Director of Stichting STEIM in Amsterdam. In 1996-97 he was a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin. In September 1997 Collins was named Editor-in-Chief of the Leonardo Music Journal.