“I don’t want to force anyone to conduct, and it’s certainly not for everyone. But I want to inspire young women and show them that conducting is an option – something that they may not have even considered before – and these courses offer a safe place to have a go." Alice Farnham
Alice Farnham is a professional conductor and the Artistic Director of Women Conductors which she co-founded with fellow conductor Andrea Brown in 2014.
BBC Radio 4’s flagship show Woman’s Hour has placed her on its 2018 Power List of 40 women making a difference internationally in music. She is also ranked by both Classic FM and BBC Music Magazine as being among the top women conductors working today.
She is one of the world’s foremost advocates and activists for empowering women to conduct, and was duly invited to lead the National Concert Hall’s Female Conductor Programme in Ireland and coach participants at Dallas Opera’s Institute for Women Conductors.
She trained at the St Petersburg Conservatoire with Ilya Musin. She has worked on the music staff of the Royal Opera House and Gothenburg Opera, and was Music Director of Welsh National Youth Opera for its critically acclaimed and award-winning productions of Maxwell-Davies’ Kommilitonen! and Britten’s Paul Bunyan. She was invited by Valery Gergiev to conduct Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at the Mariinsky Theatre and conducted David Bruce’s The Fireworkmaker’s Daughter for the Royal Opera House. Particularly interested in innovative and cross-genre productions, Alice conducted Carmen Moves and Philip Glass' Satygraha at Stockholm’s Folkoperan and was invited back to conduct Puccini’s Turandot in 2017.
Guest engagements include Teatru Manoel Valetta (Dido & Aeneas), Grange Park Opera (Falstaff and I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Singapore Lyric Opera (Die Zauberlöte), Tête à Tête Opera (Charlotte Bray’s Making Arrangements), English Touring Opera (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Bampton Classical Opera (Haydn’s Le Pescatrice). She has conducted the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Danish Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Rambert Dance Company.
She works extensively in Sweden where she has conducted the Dalasinfonietta, Gävle Symphony Orchestra and the Nordiska Kammarorkester. She was Organ Scholar at St Hugh's Oxford University and at St Thomas’ Church, Fifth Avenue, New York.
Listen here to Alice talking on BBC Radio 3 about her musical passions and her commitment to helping women conductors.
Follow Alice on Twitter: @batonalice
Lincoln Abbotts, ABRSM: The RPS is a fantastic, entrepreneurial force with which I am proud to be associated. What clearer ambition can there be than to create a future for music?
DID YOU KNOW?
In early Philharmonic Society concerts, players often rotated within their orchestral section, reflecting the orchestra's wealth of performing talent as well as its democratic ethos: no ‘distinction of rank’.