VIRGINIA WOOLF & MUSIC
In 2015, Lana collaborated with Dr Emma Sutton (University of St Andrews, School of English) to found the Virginia Woolf & Music concert project. The project features a series of concerts exploring the role of music in Woolf’s life, its influence on her work, and the many ways in which her writing has inspired a musical response. The concert programmes include new commissions, world premieres and little-known music by women composers.
Outreach activities and educational resources have been central to the project since its inception. These range from workshops with mental health reading groups, to painting workshops with pre-school children, to online materials for scholars and schools.
Woolf (1882-1941) was a knowledgeable, almost daily, listener to classical music, fascinated by the cultural practice of music and by the relationships between music and writing. Towards the end of her life she famously remarked, ‘I always think of my books as music before I write them’. Her writing continues to inspire composers who have set her words or responded more obliquely to her work.
Within its first eighteen months, Virginia Woolf & Music commissioned the following three works:
A London Street in Winter – song – Jeremy Thurlow
Memory is the Seamstress – string quartet – Jeremy Thurlow
Woolf Letters – song cycle – Richard Barnard
Virginia Woolf & Music is grateful to the following institutions for their funding and support: Arts & Humanities Research Council, Leeds Trinity University, Robinson College (University of Cambridge), Stanza Poetry Festival, and University of St Andrews.