Events

Past Events

A Modernist Revue
Chapel of King’s College, London
Friday 21 June 2019, 6.30–8.30 pm

In collaboration with the British Association of Modernist Studies Conference

Join us in the glorious 19th- century Chapel of King’s College London for an evening of music, dance and poetry. This ‘Modernist Revue’ will include the premiere of live artist Deborah Pearson’s rendition of Hope Mirrlees’s 1919 ‘Paris: A Poem’, music from Elena Langer’s critically acclaimed suffragette opera, Rhondda Rips it Up!, performed by singers from the Welsh National Opera, a response to the Ballets Russes from Isabella McGuire Mayes, music by Germaine Tailleferre and Claude Debussy performed by Lana Bode and Olivia Boen of the Virginia Woolf & Music project and a set from Amit Chaudhuri. The evening will be compèred by BBC Radio 4’s own Zeb Soanes.

Tickets are £10 and can be booked here

The Revue will be followed by a drinks reception generously funded by the Department of English, King’s College London. Organised by Clara Jones (KCL), Natasha Periyan (Kent) and Anna Snaith (KCL)


‘Debussy in Bloomsbury’
4 July 2019, Paul Mellon Centre, London, 6-8pm
Talk & Concert, Charlotte de Mille (speaker), Lana Bode (piano) and Jennifer Witton (narrator)

Part of the Bedford Square Festival

‘Debussy in Bloomsbury’ explores one of the Friday concerts at the Omega Workshop at 33 Fitzroy Square, encouraged by Roger Fry to raise funds for Belgian refugees following the outbreak of war in 1914. Although the details of these concerts are largely undocumented, these events nonetheless included some remarkable achievements including the premiere of Debussy’s children’s ballet La boîte à joujoux (‘The Toy Box’), written to a scenario by André Hellé.

The concert features the solo piano version of ‘La boîte à joujoux’, narrated and accompanied by Hellé’s original scenography. The performance is set in the context of Bloomsbury’s long-standing interest in Debussy, music and theatre by a pre-concert talk looking at the Omega Workshop’s original set designs and designs for children’s toys.


Related event: ‘Engaging with Twentieth-century Pageants: Studying and Performing Historic British Drama’
17 June 2019, School of English, University of St Andrews

This one-day symposium brings together historians, literary critics, musicologists and archivists to discuss specific pageants and methodologies for their study. Topics include: Woolf’s novel about a pageant, Between the Acts; Dante, D.G. Rossetti and Charles Williams’ pageant-novels and pageant-plays; Auden; and T.S. Eliot’s pageant-play, The Rock. The symposium includes a free concert of readings and pageant music, including new arrangements of Martin Shaw’s rarely-heard music for The Rock.

View the “Engaging with Twentieth-century Pageants” symposium website


Woolf’s Orlando: Prequels and Sequels
Auditorium, St Leonards School, St Andrews
Wednesday 3 April 2019, 2.30-4pm

This afternoon of talks and music explores the figure of Orlando through history as he (sometimes she) has appeared in literature, fine art, and music. Complementing Dyad Productions’ multiple award-winning adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s playful biography Orlando at the Byre Theatre that evening, the afternoon includes a performance of Jeremy Thurlow’s 2016 string quartet inspired by a passage from Woolf’s work.

Free and open to all; no ticket required

Speakers: Dr Giulio Pertile and Dr Jane Pettegree


Concert: Natalie Johnson-Hyde (soprano), Lana Bode (piano)
14 December 2018, 1.10pm at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, London

Artistic Director Lana Bode plays works by Wolf, Hindemith and Dohnanyi as well as Jeremy Thurlow’s ‘A London Street in Winter’- a song commissioned by the project in 2016 and set to a passage from Woolf’s essay ‘Street haunting: a London adventure’

Further details


Concert: Marta Fontanals-Simmons (Mezzo Soprano) and Lana Bode (Piano)
17 September 2018, 1-1.45pm at St Martins-in-the-Field, London

Artistic Director of the project, pianist Lana Bode, and mezzo soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons repeat their performance of Domenick Argento’s 1974 song-cycle ‘From the Diary of Virginia Woolf’ at St Martins-in-the-Field, London, on 17 September 2018. The cycle was written for Janet Baker and won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. More information


Concert: ‘Pacifism and Pierrot: Debussy in Bloomsbury’
Friday 22nd June 2018, 6-7.30pm in Colyer-Fergusson Hall, University of Kent

This concert springs from the recent discovery that Debussy’s children’s ballet La boîte à joujoux (‘The Toy Box’) was premiered by the Omega Workshops in 1915. The performance was part of a series of pacifist concerts fundraising for Belgian refugees who made up the orchestra; the ‘dancers’ were cardboard marionettes, designed and operated by Workshop members.

This concert of French song and piano music explores themes of pacifism, feminism and equality through music associated with the Omega Workshops and with Virginia Woolf. Rarely performed music by Germaine Tailleferre and Nadia Boulanger complements familiar favourites by Debussy and Poulenc. The programme culminates in La boîte à joujoux, accompanied in this performance by images. Performers: Lana Bode (piano) and Suzanne Fischer (soprano).

A free drinks reception takes place in the interval.

The concert is preceded by a panel of talks introducing these works and music’s role in early twentieth-century pacifism (late afternoon, Woolf Lecture Theatre, University of Kent; free, all welcome). Speakers: Prof Christine Froula (Northwestern), Dr Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld Institute), Dr Emma Sutton (St Andrews).

Ticketing information

Presented by the Virginia Woolf & Music Project. For further information about our performers, see www.lanabode.com and Suzanne Fischer


Children’s Concert and Marionette Presentation: ‘The Toy Box’
Friday 9th February 2018, 10am-10.50am (marionette presentation), 11.10am-11.45am (concert), Main Auditorium, Byre Theatre, St Andrews.
SOLD OUT

Join pianist Lana Bode and narrator Jennifer Witton (Royal Shakespeare Company) for an exhilarating performance of Debussy’s children’s ballet, La boîte à joujoux (‘The Toy Box’). Meet the inhabitants of the toy box – from the soldier to the dancer – and hear about their adventures in Debussy’s lively music. The performance is accompanied by colourful images and preceded by an introduction and demonstration by the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre. Children of all ages welcome with an accompanying adult.


Concert: ‘Pacifism and Pierrot: Debussy in Bloomsbury’
Thursday 8th February 2018, Main Auditorium, Byre Theatre, St Andrews, 8pm-9.30pm.
Tickets £8/£6 [via Byre theatre]

This concert of French song and piano music is a journey through the pleasures and pain of war-time life. The programme explores themes of pacifism, feminism and equality in rarely performed music by Germaine Tailleferre and Nadia Boulanger alongside familiar favourites by Debussy and Poulenc. The programme culminates in Debussy’s children’s ballet La boîte à joujoux (‘The Toy Box’), premiered by the Omega Workshops in 1915 as part of a series of pacifist concerts raising money for Belgian refugees. The ballet was performed not by dancers but by cardboard marionettes; images accompany this performance. Performers: Lana Bode (piano) and Jennifer Witton (soprano).


Public Talks: ‘Debussy at Play’
Thursday 8th February 2018, Studio Theatre, Byre Theatre, St Andrews, 5.30-7pm. FREE but ticketed [order tickets via Brye theatre]

As a prelude to the evening concert, three speakers introduce Debussy’s work. Pianist and renowned Debussy scholar Dr Roy Howat, Dr Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld Institute) and Dr David Evans (French, St Andrews) discuss the newly discovered premiere of his children’s ballet La boîte à joujoux (‘The Toy Box’) and the role of pantomime and play in Debussy’s work more widely.


Concert: Pacifism and Pierrot: Debussy in Bloomsbury [CANCELLED]
Tuesday 30 January 2018, 1.10pm at St Clement Danes Church, Strand, London

This concert of French song and piano music is a lunchtime recital preview of the Virginia Woolf & Music concert scheduled for 8 February (see below). Works by Debussy, Tailleferre, Nadia Boulanger and Poulenc. Performers: Lana Bode (piano) and Jennifer Witton (soprano). Free entry with retiring collection.


Music, Creativity & Mental Health: Public Talks & Informal Concert
Wednesday 27 September 2017, Studio Theatre, Byre Theatre, St Andrews, 2.30pm

FREE – tea & scones provided

http://byretheatre.com/events/music-talk-music-and-mental-health/

Psychologist Dr Maggie Ellis, literary critic Dr Emma Sutton and pianist Lana Bode explore music’s role in mental illness and creativity. Emma Sutton and Lana Bode discuss Virginia Woolf’s experiences of and treatment for mental illness. Their talk, illustrated with musical examples, introduces Woolf’s musical hallucinations and her writing about music. They also consider ideas about the effects of mental illness on the working practices of some of the classical composers Woolf loved. Maggie Ellis explores the special place of music in the lives of individuals living with dementia, providing powerful examples from her own research. She explains the ways music can provide a way to communicate with others when speech becomes difficult, and how it taps into dearly held memories.

Presented in collaboration with the Music Research Seminar Series.


Jeremy Thurlow’s new quartet, inspired by ‘Orlando’ and commissioned by the Virginia Woolf & Music project, will be performed again by the Kreutzer Quartet as part of the Bath Spa Live festival on 25th January 2017.

More info and tickets here


Concert: ‘Weaving Threads: Virginia Woolf & String Quartets’
Thursday 3 November 2016, 7.45 pm, Robinson College Chapel, Cambridge

Performed by the renowned Kreutzer Quartet, the concert explores Woolf’s interest in string quartets and features new work inspired by her writing. The concert includes work by Beethoven, by the South-African British composer Priaulx Rainier, and Mozart’s arrangement of a Bach fugue for string quartet. Two world premieres are featured: Jeremy Thurlow’s Memory is the seamstress and Elliott Schwartz’s Quartet No. 3: Portrait. More info | Purchase tickets


Roundtable: ‘Composers in Conversation: Setting Woolf’s Letters and Diaries’

Friday 17 June 2016, 1.40pm, 26th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, Leeds Trinity University.
Free to conference delegates.

Three composers – Richard Barnard, Jan-Willem van Herpen and Jeremy Thurlow – will discuss their new settings of Woolf’s work ahead of the premiere at 8pm. The roundtable is hosted by the 26th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf: for full details of the conference programme see http://virginiawoolf2016.wordpress.com/


Conference Panel: ‘Musical Woolf’

Friday 17 June 2016, 10.55-12.25am, 26th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, Leeds Trinity University. Free to conference delegates.

Claire Davison (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3), Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld Institute) and Emma Sutton (St Andrews) discuss music in Woolf’s novels and short fiction, and in events organised by Roger Fry’s Omega Gallery. Hosted by the 26th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf: for full details of the conference programme see http://virginiawoolf2016.wordpress.com/


Concert: ‘Virginia: A Musical Portrait’

Friday 17 June 2016, 8.00pm, The Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, Leeds School of Music.
£12.50 Buy tickets here: http://virginiawoolf2016.wordpress.com/online-store/

A concert of new music inspired by Woolf’s work takes place on Friday 17 June 2016 as part of the 26th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf (‘Virginia Woolf and Heritage’, Leeds Trinity University).

The concert focuses on settings of Woolf’s diaries and letters and features three world premieres: the song cycle The Lonely Mind by Jan-Willem van Herpen; Richard Barnard’s song cycle Woolf Letters; and a song by Jeremy Thurlow.  Barnard’s and Thurlow’s works were commissioned for this concert.  The fourth work of the concert is Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf (1974, written for the English mezzo-soprano Janet Baker).

Lana Bode (co-founder of the concert series) will play in the concert, with Annelies Van Hijfte (soprano), Marta Fontanals-Simmons (mezzo-soprano), Sian Cameron (mezzo-soprano) and Nicola Rose (piano).


To the Lighthouse: Musical Inspirations & Responses’

4 March 2016, The Byre Theatre, St Andrews. 3.30pm. £10/£8

The inaugural concert of the series on Woolf, Bloomsbury and music explores the music behind Virginia Woolf’s fifth novel and recent compositions that respond to her work. It intertwines readings from Woolf’s work with Scottish folk song and compositions for voice and piano by composers including Benjamin Britten, Thea Musgrave, Judith Weir and David Knotts.

http://stanzapoetry.org/festival/events/lighthouse-musical-inspirations-and-responses


To the Lighthouse: Musical Inspirations & Responses’: Pre-performance talk

4 March 2016, Conference Room, The Byre Theatre, St Andrews. 2pm. Free

This talk by Dr Emma Sutton precedes the concert ‘To the Lighthouse: Musical Inspirations & Responses’ and introduces music’s significance to Woolf’s work.

http://stanzapoetry.org/festival/events/lighthouse-and-music-pre-performance-talk


Exhibition: ‘Virginia Woolf & St Andrews’

March 2016, The Byre Theatre, St Andrews. Free.

This small exhibition explores Woolf’s connections with St Andrews, via books, photographs and fine art. It showcases: the University Library’s outstanding holdings of first editions by Woolf and the Hogarth Press; local novelists’ and poets’ connections with To the Lighthouse; and recent academic work, fiction and art inspired by her writing.


Symposium: ‘Woolf & Music’

2-6pm, 3 March 2016, University of St Andrews. Free but registration required.
Download the symposium timetable

This symposium explores music’s role in Woolf’s writing and music that responds to it; works explored include To the Lighthouse, The Voyage Out and A Room of One’s Own. The symposium includes papers by Woolf scholars (Dr Jane Goldman, Dr James Stewart, Dr Emma Sutton) and musicians and composers in discussion about music inspired by Woolf’s prose. Additionally, there will also be the chance to examine for the first time highlights from the Kirkpatrick Archive of Bloomsbury manuscripts recently acquired by the University Library.

Please contact Dr Lisa Griffin on lmg3@st-andrews.ac.uk for details and to register.