Salon Voltaire at Senate House

Salon Voltaire at Senate House

Our Salon will offer an evening of readings and performances accompanied with food and wine. Drawing upon the talents and scholarly interests of the Institutes of the School of Advanced Study and Senate House Library, the event will evoke the spirit of the Cabaret Voltaire, which in 1916 which launched the Dadaist movement in Zurich. Dada sought to create art of the ‘here and now’, at a time when artists were fleeing their home countries in the shadow of the Great War: Hugo Ball (Germany), Richard Huelsenbeck (Germany), Tristan Tzara (Romania), Marcel Janco (Romania) and Hans Arp (France). Just as

Paul Guest, Camden Guide: Soldiers, Students, and Residents Walk

Paul Guest, Camden Guide: Soldiers, Students, and Residents Walk

I have loved Bloomsbury for as long as I’ve known it, and from 1972 to ’78 I worked at the former Dillon’s University Bookshop there. In those days the bookshop’s address was 1 Malet Street. It also looked onto Torrington Place, as part of a parade of shops with a café, a newsagent’s and a chemist’s. Gradually it spread across the entire block, now occupied by Waterstone’s at 82 Gower Street. The business was founded by Una J. Dillon (1903-1993), who had set up a small bookshop on Store Street in 1936. In 1956 the University of London invited her

Hilary Davies on her latest collection Exile and the Kingdom

Hilary Davies on her latest collection Exile and the Kingdom

Exile and the Kingdom, whose launch coincides with the Bloomsbury festival, is my fourth collection of poems.  In five different sequences, it explores  pilgrimage in all its facets: spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological. The origins of some of these poems go back decades in my own life and centuries in time.  ‘Rhine Fugue’, conceived long before the Brexit vote but completed shortly before it, emerged from my love for and experience of Germany over many years. My other career, pursued in parallel with my writing, is as a teacher of German and French: the Rhineland is a home from home for

Jo Wilkinson, Camden Guide Lost and Found

Jo Wilkinson, Camden Guide Lost and Found

I’m Jo Wilkinson. I was born in University College Hospital more years ago than I’m happy to admit and I grew up locally.  So Bloomsbury must be in my blood. This year I qualified as a Camden Guide. It’s a one-year course, which is hard work but really enjoyable. I have had enormous fun learning and researching about the whole borough but I especially loved the opportunity to learn more about the Foundling Hospital, founded by Captain Coram, who, horrified by the numbers of deserted children he saw on the streets of London, was determined to do something to help.

Roxana Haines talks about An Album of Memories

Roxana Haines talks about An Album of Memories

Everybody knows someone who has lost a bit of their memory. In fact, all of us forget things now and then. But with an increasingly ageing population, the situation’s changing as dementia and Alzheimer’s affect more people then ever. Indomitable Productions is a multi-disciplinary performance collective that reimagines classical music for contemporary audiences. We’re also passionate about the positive neurological effects of music on the brain, the power of good conversation and the benefits of tea and cake. So over the last year we’ve worked with Age UK Camden, Camden Carers and specialists from Bristol North NHS to develop a

Lena Herzog’s Last Whispers at The British Museum

Lena Herzog’s Last Whispers at The British Museum

Last Whispers, Oratorio for Vanished Voices, Collapsing Universes and a Falling Tree is an immersive installation of new work by artist Lena Herzog (concept and direction) built on her themes of ritual and gesture, as well as her exploration of loss and dislocation. Last Whispers is a project about a mass extinction. Every two weeks, the world loses a language. At an unprecedented speed, faster than the extinction of some species, our linguistic diversity—the very means by which we know ourselves—is eroding. Today, more than half of the world population speaks only 30 of the 7,000 languages remaining on earth. It is estimated that

Pushkin House’s music curator Alexander Karpeyev on celebrating Prokofiev

Pushkin House’s music curator Alexander Karpeyev on celebrating Prokofiev

In 2016 the whole world celebrates the 125th anniversary of Sergey Prokofiev, an emblematic Russian composer, one of the artists that makes up Russia’s Hall of Fame. CDs are being released and his music is being programmed around the globe. Valery Gergiev has put on two extraordinary galas in Moscow and St Petersburg and in September he is bringing his famous Mariinsky Orchestra to London’s Cadogan Hall to perform all of Prokofiev’s symphonies in the course of three evenings. Russian pianist Nikolay Lugansky continues to do the complete cycle of Prokofiev’s concertos with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. On 5

Judith Glynn, sculptor and epidemiologist, talks about her artworks

Judith Glynn, sculptor and epidemiologist, talks about her artworks

In the build-up to the Festival the Bloomsbury Creative Lab brought together academics, artists and others to exchange ideas. When I was invited to take part on behalf of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where I work, I queried whether I was being asked as a scientist (I am an epidemiologist, working on infectious disease) or as a sculptor. The answer was “Both”. I started sculpting a few years ago. My sculptures depict human life and interactions. For example, I use the double helix (the structure of DNA) as a metaphor for the way people interact but

Moonstricken by Vivien Conacher (mezzo soprano)

Moonstricken by Vivien Conacher (mezzo soprano)

Moonstricken is a performance piece that I have probably been thinking about, in one way or another, since I was a student. For my final vocal recital at the Royal College of Music, I found myself drawn to the multitudes of ‘mad’ songs in classical repertoire, and the different depictions of women on the edge. I was interested in what the ‘mad woman’ label may reveal about society more broadly – how free were women to express their thoughts and feelings, or to determine their own futures in general? Madness in these narratives so often seems to follow a doomed love affair, so was it a

Festival image competition winner announced

Festival image competition winner announced

We are delighted to announce that Wies van der Wal, an exchange student from the Netherlands in her second year of BA Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, was unanimously selected as the winner of the Bloomsbury Festival design competition this year. All the judges agreed that the design cleverly combined the celebratory essence of the Festival with this year’s theme, language. The competition was conceived by the Duchess of Bedford who was on the judging panel with Director of the Bloomsbury Festival Kate Anderson, artist Alan Baines, Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins Val Palmer, Development Officer of Arts and Tourism