Blogspot Graphic: Barbara Quick's BlogTwitter: Follow Barbara Quick, Author

Bookcover: A Golden Web by Barbara Quick
Graphic: Learn more about A Golden Web

Other Books by Barbara Quick

Bookcover: Even More by Barbara QuickBookcover: Still Friends by Barbara QuickBookcover: Northern Edge by Barbara QuickBookcover: Under Her Wing by Barbara QuickBookcover: The Commitment Dialogues by Barbara Quick

Vivaldi's Virgins Bookcover - Historical Novel by Barbara Quick

Anna Maria
dal Violin


della Pietà

About Barbara Quick

How this Novel
Was Written

About the
Cover Art

What the
Critics Say

News & Events

Music of Vivaldi's Virgins




News & Events

Attention: Vivaldi aficionados! The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra is closing its next season with Vivaldi's only surviving oratorio, Juditha Triumphans. Barbara will be giving the pre-concert lecture and signing copies of Vivaldi’s Virgins on Friday 4 April 2014 (7:15 pm lecture) at the brand-new SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco; on Saturday 5 April (7:15 pm lecture) at the beautiful First Congregational Church in Berkeley; and on Sunday 6 April (6:45 pm lecture), also at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley.

Barbara has been a closet poet since the age of nine, whose work was published in various literary magazines (under her maiden name, Barbara Tritel, prior to her crossover into fiction). She’s at it again! Her new poem, “Eighty-five,” is forthcoming in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The world-famous Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra is embarking on a Vivaldi concert tour to launch their Four Seasons CD--for which Barbara wrote the liner notes!

"I was thrilled when the PBO asked me to write the liner notes for their Four Seasons CD. Ever since I first started doing the research for my novel, I’ve been inspired by the passion and authenticity they bring to their performances of Vivaldi’s music, which was first performed by the all-female orchestra of Venice’s Ospedale della Pieta."


Barbara was the guest speaker at the San Francisco Girls Chorus Vivaldi's Venice performance on November 2nd, 2012 at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco.

Featuring Vivaldi's Gloria in its original treble chorus arrangement

Guest Artists:
Members of American Bach Orchestra
Jeffrey Thomas, conductor
Jennifer Ellis Kampani '88, soprano
** Pre-concert talk with novelist Barbara Quick at 7pm **
Post-concert celebration, A Venetian Masquerade, in the Green Room at 10pm

Baroque giant Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) wore many hats in his musical career, including composer, violinist, priest, teacher and, extraordinarily, violinist and composer at Venice's Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy), an orphanage that was unparalleled in its schooling of young women in music.

This program dazzles with some of the most virtuosic, technically challenging and sublime music Vivaldi wrote for the ethereal voices of his young charges, in addition to other music of the time. The evening begins with a pre-concert talk with novelist Barbara Quick, whose best-selling novel, Vivaldi's Virgins evokes the era and its music.

Join SFGC for A Venetian Masquerade, immediately following the concert in the Green Room of the War Memorial building. This ticketed post-concert celebration will evoke the spirit of Venice's carnevale season, with delicious Italian treats, festive entertainers, mysterious masks and more…

A Golden Web: The Movie!

Barbara's proposal for a film version of A Golden Web has been shortlisted for a Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant. The Sundance Institute awards one of these grants every year to give financial support and advice for a film that deals in some way with science or technology. Viva Alessandra Giliani, teenage scientist of the 14th century! The winner of the Sundance/Sloan award will be announced on January 6th, 2012. The big question is: Who should play Alessandra? Wouldn't it be great if she could be played by the beautiful Anna Kobylianski (an aspiring actress and model, as well as a pre-med student) who posed for the cover of the novel? (Click here to read about the amazing coincidence of Anna's connections to Alessandra.)

In the Works: An Audio Version of Vivaldi's Virgins!

This summer I began writing and broadcasting on-air book reviews for my local NPR affiliate, radio station KRCB. My huge bonus: The station manager there, Robin Pressman, is letting me use the studio to create an audio version of my novel Vivaldi's Virgins. (Listen to my KRCB interview with Rosemary Manchester and Suzanne Lang on "A Novel Idea" to get an idea about what a brilliant job these people do!) I'm hoping the audio book will be available for downloading sometime this fall. I'll keep you posted.

Press Release: Author Gets Publicity for Her Young Adult Novel from Savvy Teen Bloggers

Taking A Golden Web into CyberSpace

It’s a whole new game, being an author today...

In this time of pinched budgets and blockbuster mentalities in the publishing world, the Blog Tour has come to be the standard for letting readers personalize their experience with writers. Read more about my {Teen} Book Scene Blog Tour in a three-part post, Touring In Cyberspace.

How the world has changed in the three years since my last novel, Vivaldi's Virgins, was published! It's as if a good media fairy waved her magic wand and brought into being dozens and dozens of bright and avid young book reviewers all around the country. Instead of a few overworked publicists at each publishing house struggling to spread the word about their assigned authors, there is a legion of dedicated and generous bloggers out there, beautifully and imaginatively writing (for free!) about the books they love. For a taste of the thought, care and love of reading invested in these YA book blogs, here are some excerpts from them:

Alessandra Giliani, the heroine of A Golden Web, was asked in a character interview,
"What is your favorite surgical tool?"

Go to Erika's blog for the answer.

"I know I'm not alone in this, but I really enjoy the stories where girls dress up as boys to reach their dreams. I like to think if I had lived back in the 'olden days' that I would have been that hard core, that I would have been able to cut off all my pretty hair and disappear into the world. I don't know if I would actually have been able to do it, but I really like reading about girls who are." - Ashley.

Read more on Ashley's blog

"J.M. Barrie, who wrote Peter Pan, claims that babies all remember once having been fairies. They’re still trying to fly, waving their little arms. But life teaches them soon enough how silly they’re being—and they stop trying to fly. Writers are often, I think, babies who never learn that they can’t fly anymore. From a very young age, I knew I needed wings of some kind if I was going to survive the journey to adulthood. I kept my wings hidden. But I flew nonetheless. I found safe and beautiful places. And when I couldn’t find them, I created them." - From a 250-word biography by Barbara on Christie's blog

Taking A Golden Web into CyberSpace continued - More from the Teen Bloggers...

Barbara's Top 10 Disguises include “a pair of someone else’s shoes (particularly if he or she is someone who seems to be dense, mean, unfair or all three). Fiction writers have to learn to love their villains, too.”

Read Kayla's blog for the rest of her list (and see her wearing her wings!).

"Alessandra was a character I immediately loved. If I was living in the 14th century, she would definitely be my best friend. She loved learning and didn’t let anyone stand in her way of that, even though she was a girl (Yay! Girl power!)." - Danna

Read more on Danna's blog

"For a long time, I had a secret life as a samba dancer..." - From an interview with Barbara on Britta's blog

"I am compelled by the logic of Aristotle that the Earth is round, though the Church would tell us otherwise." – from a character interview with Alessandra Giliani, heroine of A Golden Web

Read more on Lexie's blog

"This is my honest review! My rating: 5 of 5 stars" -Melissa

Check out Melissa's blog

"Young girls should also grab this book! Hopefully it will inspire them to overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of their dreams." - Julia

Read more on Julia's blog

Taking A Golden Web into Cyberspace (continued) - More from the YA Bloggers...

"I found A Golden Web to be a quick, delightful read that will definitely stick around with me for a while. I give it 5/5 stars, and recommend it to those who like history, strong female characters, or a great read." - Kayla

Read more on Kayla's blog

"A Golden Web is a perfect example of a well balanced, well executed and extremely well researched historical novel. If you are not yet a fan of historical fiction, you might want to start with this one! […] Alessandra is the woman's liberation front, before that actually existed. The fact that she had to dress as a man to accomplish what she wanted didn't change that she was all woman. I truly admired her." -Jessica

Read more on Jessica's blog

"Ms. Quick has set the bar so high for all books in this genre to come! I enjoyed her fascination and research on the topic. It made the book what it was. I am super excited Alessandra’s tale has gotten the chance to be heard! ...This book is never dull, it always has a fast hopping train of thought that every reader will appreciate! I think this should be in every teacher’s list of class books! Along with teens like me who should just pick it up, for it is a phenomenal read!" - Erika

Read more on Erika's blog

"Anna, the model who posed for the cover of A Golden Web, is my sister! When I read this novel, I was shocked about how her profile and passions were matched almost perfectly by those of Alessandra. It is an insane coincidence that this happened and knowing my sister, Anna, I could easily relate to how Alessandra felt about med school and pursuing her dreams. Amazing."

Read the cover story on Corrine's blog

From an interview about the editorial process: "While you wait for your editor’s feedback, how do you pass the time to distract yourself from thinking about revisions?"

Read Barbara's answer on Sandy's blog

"I read all of Henry James’ novels—and, by the time I got to his 'late period,' I had the completely delusional impression that he was writing in a secret language that only he and I understood." - from an author interview with Barbara Quick

Read more on Melissa's blog

Read Barbara's ABCs of writing historical fiction on Danna's blog

"A Golden Web speculates how the life of female anatomist, Alessandra Giliani, might have progressed. She was a brilliant young girl fascinated by medicine and how the human body worked. Unfortunately, she lived during a time period when it was not acceptable for women to be intrigued by such things. Her interests risked her being burned as a witch if discovered." - Christie

Read more on Christie's blog

"Finally, as you fall asleep on your small hard bed, with the letter tucked beneath you for safekeeping, you can see the words on the page. You imagine the page itself folded into two white wings, flying over the convent walls. Dreaming then, you yourself are flying, carried into a new life, your own life, on the wings of your words." – from Barbara’s response to the idea of her characters tweeting on Kathy's blog

Read about the top ten historical figures Barbara would like to have dinner with on Ashley's blog

"Beautiful writing is what sets this novel apart from so many others in the young adult genre." - Cindy

Read more on Cindy's blog

"The lovely Barbara Quick, author of the recently reviewed A Golden Web, is here today to share with us a little bit about what she does when she isn't busily writing her amazing books. As a reader, I love to know things like this! So away we go..."

Read all about it on Jessica's blog

And last but not least, check out the video interviews Barbara did for her Tour in Cyberspace:

On Saturday, April 30, 2011 from 10:00 am till 4:00 pm, Barbara is teaching a workshop called “Writing Historical Fiction” at Book Passage in Corte Madera. She only does this once a year. Come hang out with the author and learn her secrets for delving into the past and making it come alive. Whether your book is just an idea now—or you already have a complete draft of your novel or memoir, Barbara will tailor the class to help you fulfill your ambitions as a writer. Click here to learn more.

You're invited to Venice!

At the very end of 2008, I worked with novelist Laurel Corona and high-tech wizard Owen Linderholm to create a webinar entitled "The Gift Of Vivaldi: Music and the Pieta." Readers and various Vivaldi experts participated from as far away as New Zealand!

Watch the program, which was broadcast live on December 16. Hear how two novelists used the same fascinating time and place to tell their own story of music, history, love, and longing. The program, which is chock-full of rare and gorgeous images of Venice, lasts a little over an hour, including the questions and answers at the end.

Watch the webinar now:


or download it
(there's no charge), so that you can browse through it at your leisure.

FOUR SEASONS author Laurel Corona goes first; my presentation and reading from VIVALDI'S VIRGINS begins about 20 minutes into the program. This is apparently the first time that authors have used this brilliant new form of communicating interactively with their readers. Enjoy!

Historical Novel Interview

(click above to read interview)

Thanks to all the wonderful musicians!

Violinist Felicia McFall and cellist Gwenyth Davis helped launch Vivaldi’s Virgins in 2007 with their performance at the Copperfield’s Bookstore reading in Healdsburg, California.

TessaCello prodigy Tessa Seymour (pictured), now a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, played at the launch of the paperback reprint of Vivaldi’s Virgins at Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore in Berkeley in 2008. Tessa and Barbara created a tapestry of Anna Maria’s voice from the novel woven together with excerpts from Bach’s cello suites. The “Dialogue of Music & Words” has become Barbara’s signature presentation for Vivaldi’s Virgins.

Lina Montopoli,  then a 16-year-old violist from the Washington D.C. Youth Orchestra, played at Barbara's 2008 reading at the Barnes & Noble in Bethesda, Maryland.

Violin student Sam Mansfield, an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, played at Barbara's reading at the Capitola Book Cafe, joined by master art singer Tyler Burton and his virtuoso guitar accompanist Carl, both graduate students in the Music Program at UCSC. (Barbara is grateful to the owner of the beautiful Monarch Cove Inn of Capitola, who so kindly put her up in the B&B's Ocean View Room with a view of the garden and Monterey Bay!)

Since 2009, Barbara has teamed up with her fiancé Wayne Roden, violist with the San Francisco Symphony, for her “Dialogue of Music & Words.” They have performed together at the Sonoma Arts Festival, the Sonoma Books Festival, at UC San Diego, and development events for the San Francisco Symphony.

What's Up Next

With the encouragement of producer Lisa Fruchtman, Barbara has written an original screenplay for a romantic comedy called “Saving Puccini” (stay tuned for updates!).

Her novel in progress, “Six Glasses of Tokay,” involves a time-traveling violist.

Vivaldi's Virgins has been published in 14 languages:

Portuguese (in Brasil)--publisher: Bertrand
Spanish (worldwide)--publisher: Maeva
Dutch--publisher: Karakter
Russian--publisher: Exmo
Hebrew--publisher: Aryeh Nir
Portuguese--publisher: Presenca
Romanian--publisher: RAO
Korean--publisher: Arum
Greek--publisher: Minoas
Korean--publisher: Erum
Estonian--publisher: Eesti Raamat
Polish--publisher: Bertelsmann
Indonesian--publisher: Maroon Books
Albanian—publisher: Neraida Publishing House (forthcoming)

Go to the "About the cover art" page to see the book trailer in its Spanish, Russian, Greek, and Dutch versions!

Read about the real girl behind the beautiful face on the cover of A Golden Web on Barbara’s blog, Ask the Writer.

More Good Stuff

A Golden Web, Barbara’s novel about the 14th century prodigy and medical pioneer, Alessandra Giliani, was published by HarperTeen in 2010. The novel was chosen as one of 10 recommended titles for middle readers by the Amelia Bloomer Project, part of the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association.

Click here to read and listen to all the wonderful online reviews of A Golden Web and Vivaldi’s Virgins, as well as interviews with the author.

Barbara is judging the fiction entries for the 2011 League for Innovation National Writing Competition.

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra hired Barbara to write liner notes for their forthcoming recording of “The Four Seasons.”

Vivaldi's Virgins was selected as an Editor's Choice by the Historical Novels Review.

Barbara was the guest of poet and hostess par excellence Maria van Beuren at Toad Hall, her paradise of an estate and writers' retreat in rural New Hampshire.

Redbook named Vivaldi's Virgins as one of last summer's ten best books.

Award-winning Library of Congress poet and playwright Grace Cavalieri named Vivaldi's Virgins in the Montserrat Review as the best novel of 2007 as well as the best paperback reprint of 2008.

You can also read more about Barbara's news, interviews and events on Harper Collins' website.

Graphic: Find an independent bookstore near you