© Catherine Ashmore

Alice Farnham

'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.

In 2023, she was described by The Guardian as 'one of Britain's foremost conductors' and in the same year The Daily Telegraph commended her for 'doing more than anyone to change the face of conducting in the UK’. BBC Radio 4’s flagship show Woman’s Hour 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.

In 2023, Faber published Alice's book 'In Good Hands: The Making of A Modern Conductor' which accounts her life in conducting so far, including all her endeavours to change the game for women conductors, and uniquely draws on the insights and testimonies of a host of other renowned conductors worldwide.

Alice 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 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.

Guest engagements include Calgary Opera (Norma), Teatru Manoel Valetta (Dido and Aeneas), Longborough Opera (L'elisir d'amore), Grange Park Opera (Falstaff and I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Singapore Lyric Opera (Die Zauberlöte), English Touring Opera (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Royal Academy Opera (Le nozze di Figaro, L'heure espagnole and Gianni Schicchi), Bampton Classical Opera (Haydn’s Le Pescatrice) and Tête à Tête Opera (Charlotte Bray’s Making Arrangements). 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

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