We are pleased to announce that Dr Emma Sutton has won the University of St Andrews Public Engagement with Research (Collaboration) Award 2018 for her work as Founding Director of the Project.
The Virginia Woolf & Music project explores music’s role in the lives and afterlives of Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group through concerts, public talks, broadcasts, research and commissions of new works of art. Since our foundation in 2015 with an AHRC Cultural Engagement Grant we have collaborated with leading performers of classical music, theatre companies, composers, library reading groups and over 2000 school children. We have to date commissioned/premiered 5 new musical works and have showcased forgotten music by women composers admired by Bloomsbury members.
Music’s importance to the Bloomsbury Group has been eclipsed by interest in the role of visual art in their lives and work. This has masked music’s centrality to their politics (pacifism, feminism, cosmopolitanism) and artistic experiments. Recent project work has explored the forgotten premiere of Debussy’s children’s ballet The Toy Box by Bloomsbury artists during WW1; it was part of a pacifist concert series performed by and raising money for Belgian refugees. With partners from the Courtauld Institute and the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre we have presented concerts (plus matinees, and newly commissioned marionette kits, story-boarded graphics and curriculum-based worksheets for children) about music and pacifism.