The Virginia Woolf & Music project explores the role of music in the lives and legacies of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group through concerts, research, workshops, public talks, exhibitions and commissions of new works of art.
Virginia Woolf famously stated ‘I always think of my books as music before I write them,’ and her writing continues to influence composers who have set her words or been inspired by her novels. The project highlights the central role of music in her literary experiments, showcasing music that inspired her writing and that directly responds to her work, including new commissions, world premieres, and little-known music by women composers.
Founded in 2015 with an AHRC Cultural Engagement grant, the UK-based project embraces the feminist, pacifist and cosmopolitan spirit of the Bloomsbury Group. Our collaborators range from primary schools and library reading groups to international academic conferences, theatre companies and renowned performers of classical music.
We are delighted to be contributing a short film about Woolf’s musical lives and afterlives to an online gala on 12 December 2020 (19.00-21.00 GMT). This event – featuring writers, artists, comedians, critics and dramatists including Frances Spalding and Mark Haddon – is a fundraiser for the first full-size statue of Woolf in the UK. The statue by Laury Dizengremel, which depicts Woolf smiling and relaxed, will be placed by the river at Richmond where she regularly walked and near the site of the Hogarth Press. Tickets are £10 and can be booked here.