Ada Lovelace

Imagining the Analytical Engine

Illustration of punch cards for Ada Lovelace's computer programme and a portrait of Lovelace

A 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, Lovelace was a visionary figure: exploring far-reaching mathematical concepts, writing what many recognise as the world’s first computer programme, and anticipating the immense potential of future computers. This evening combines words and music to offer a post-millennial perspective on her legacy and achievement.

It’s devised by Emily Howard, whose own music explores the frontiers of scientific thought, as part of our Life Rewired season. Britten Sinfonia will perform specially commissioned works inspired by Lovelace, written by Howard and her contemporaries. This includes Alter, which innovatively combines Robert Laidlow's original work with the outputs of an artificial intelligence developed by the team of musicians and scientists at PRiSM – a fusion of human and machine creativity to make Ada proud.

This performance will finish by 9.30pm subject to panel discussion lengths, including a 20 minute interval.

PRiSM is the Royal Northern College of Music's Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music.

Download the programme

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With thanks

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

Milton Court Concert Hall