Dr Kate Kennedy is a Research Fellow in English and Music at Girton College, Cambridge. She specialises in twentieth century music and literature, particularly of the First World War, and also works on Benjamin Britten. She studied both English and Music at Cambridge, continued her studies as a cellist at the Royal College of Music, before completing a masters in Biography at King’s College, London. Her PhD (at Cambridge) was on the songs and poems of First World War poet and composer Ivor Gurney.
Kate is currently completing a critical biography of Ivor Gurney, based on years of archival research. It has been commissioned by Oxford University Press, and will contain much that is groundbreaking work on the tragic life of this important but overlooked figure. Her collection of essays (co-edited with Dr Trudi Tate) THE SILENT MORNING: Culture, Memory and the Armistice, 1918 is currently in production with Manchester University Press, and will be published in 2013. LITERARY BRITTEN will be published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She has published widely on early twentieth century writers and composers in major international journals, and is a lecturer in the Music Faculty at Cambridge, and also teaches in the English Faculty.
Kate has a busy career outside Cambridge, giving regular public lectures: most recently at the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Brighton International Festival, the QEH, and the Edinburgh Festival, and works regularly with the Britten Sinfonia and artists such as Sir Thomas Allen, Julius Drake, Iain Burnside, Mark Padmore, Alex Jennings, Simon Armitage and Andrew Kennedy, devising and presenting programmes and giving lectures and pre-concert talks. She specialises in constructing and writing innovative concert programmes, mixing literature and music, often using archival material. Her programmes include: Literary Britten, a combination of Britten and Auden, through music, letters and poetry, written for actor Alex Jennings, and performed at the Wigmore Hall in March 2013 The Dark Pastoral, a combination of lesser-known music and poetry of the First World War, which was recorded on CD with Altara Records by Simon Russell Beale, Andrew Kennedy and Julius Drake. A Music of Her Own: a look at Virginia Woolf's relationship to music, through her own words, for Fiona Shaw and Sarah Connolly (Wigmore Hall, 20 July, 2013). Her programmes have also been performed in King's Chapel, Cambridge, Machyntleth Festival, Lincoln Festival, Perth Festival, and Brighton International Festival.
She also appears regularly on Radio 3, in programmes such as the Literary Proms, Iain Burnsides’s Sunday Morning Show and Music Matters. She is grateful to have been awarded a Wingate Scholarship for her work on Gurney.