Hearing Woolf’s Life Writing, a concert showcasing music that inspired Virginia Woolf’s writing, will be held in conjunction with the 26th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at The Concert Hall, Leeds School of Music, Friday, June 17, at 8 p.m.
The concert focuses on settings of Woolf’s diaries and letters and features three world premieres:
- The song cycle “A Lonely Mind” by Jan-Willem van Herpen
- Richard Barnard’s song cycle “Woolf Letters,” previewed in the YouTube video below
- 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).
This concert is the second in a series showcasing music that inspired Virginia Woolf’s writing and that directly responds to her work, including new commissions, world premieres and little-known music by women composers.
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 series is a collaboration between pianist Lana Bode of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire and Dr. Emma Sutton of the University of St Andrews. Other performers include Annelies Van Hijfte, soprano; Marta Fontanals-Simmons and Nicola Rose, mezzo-sopranos; and Sian Cameron, pianist.
For more events in the Virginia Woolf and Music series, visit the website.