Kate Kennedy

Kate Kennedy is a writer, cellist and BBC broadcaster. Her work combines words and music, in performance, on the radio and on the page. She is a Research Fellow in Life-Writing at Wolfson College, Oxford, and Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-writing, which is an international centre for the discussion of biography, autobiography and the many issues surrounding the ways in which we approach the narratives of lives. She is also a regular broadcaster on the BBC, particularly Radio 3, where she appears on Music Matters, Proms Plus, Record Review, Building a Library, Essential Classics, Composer of the Week and The Essay. Her Sunday Features have been selected for Pick of the Year by Radio 4, and she was awarded the Oxford Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Public Engagement with Research in 2017. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2022.

She has previously held research fellowships in both Music and English at the University of Cambridge, and has published widely on the arts: she is co-editor of The Silent Morning: Culture and the Armistice, 1918 (Manchester UP, 2014), and author of the play The Fateful Voyage. She is the editor of Literary Britten (Boydell, 2019), and has recently co-edited with Dame Hermione Lee the critically acclaimed collection of essays Lives of Houses (Princeton, 2020) including contributions from Simon Armitage and Julian Barnes.

Her award-winning biography Dweller in Shadows: A Life of Ivor Gurney was published by Princeton University Press in 2021. The result of many years of research, it is the first biography to look at all aspects of the war poet / composer’s work, alongside his life from the trenches to a lunatic asylum.

Her most recent book, Cello : A Journey Through Silence to Sound, will be published by Bloomsbury in August 2024. It is part memoir, part biography, exploring musicians’ relationships to their cellos, and following her journey with her cello as she traces lives and instruments across Europe and Russia.


Contact Information

Georgina Capel
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Rachel Conway
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Film, TV, Radio, Foreign Rights
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Foreign Rights, Speaking & Engagements