Ada Lovelace

Imagining the Analytical Engine

Ada Lovelace

An uncompromising musical tribute to a woman who united the worlds of 19th-century romanticism and cutting-edge science – Ada Lovelace: thinker, computer pioneer and enchantress of numbers.

In an unsympathetic age, Ada Lovelace explored far-reaching mathematical concepts and worked with Charles Babbage on his revolutionary Difference Engine, writing what is now recognised to be the world’s first computer programme. This evening combines words and music to offer a post-millennial perspective on her legacy and achievement, with input from expert panellists Ursula Martin, Sydney Padua, Miranda Seymour and Richard Holmes.

It’s devised by Emily Howard – whose own music explores the frontiers of scientific thought. As part of the Barbican’s year-long Life Rewired season, Britten Sinfonia perform specially commissioned, scientifically inspired music by Howard and her contemporaries plus music created using artificial intelligence, written in tribute to Lovelace.

End-time to be announced nearer the event.


*Excludes £3 booking fee

Part of Life Rewired

A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything

Architecture Tours

See the Barbican from a new perspective


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Urvashi Aneja imagines four alternative futures for work in the global south, as part of our Life Rewired Reads series.

photo of lil miquela

Listen: AI music

Can a computer create its own score? Will bots replace DJs? We open our ears to music that is using artificial intelligence to enhance, shape or inspire their output.


With thanks

Ada Lovelace: Imagining the Analytical Engine is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund.

Milton Court Concert Hall