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.

Forthcoming Events

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

‘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 suffragette opera, Rhondda Rips it Up!, performed by Welsh National Opera singers Anna Dennis and Madeleine Shaw, a response to the Ballets Russes performed by Isabella McGuire Mayes and music by Germaine Tailleferre and Claude Debussy from artists of the Virginia Woolf & Music project.

Tickets are £10 and will be booked separately: details to follow.

The Revue will be followed by a drinks reception generously funded by the Department of English, King’s College London.