An RPS corporate conducting workshop coached by Alice Farnham

Support the cause

In the last few years, the world has powerfully, repeatedly expressed its sentiments about gender equality. Think of the women’s marches. The activists who have called time on sexual harassment. The outspoken female political leaders. Triumphant female sports stars. Box office hits fronted by strong female protagonists. A female Doctor Who, even.

Yet, when it comes to classical music, think of a conductor and likely the image of a man still leaps to mind. Leaf through an orchestra’s season brochure and the names and faces of female conductors are yet few and far between.

It’s time for us all to ask what we can do to keep pace with the times and ensure young women see a future for themselves as conductors. The Royal Philharmonic Society is dedicated to creating opportunities that never existed before for women to try their hand at conducting, to find the confidence and drive to develop their talent, supported by professionals who know how hard it can be to break through. Here you can read everything we have achieved on this front so far.

There is so much more we could yet do, but there are startlingly limited funds for initiatives of this kind which, compounded by the pandemic, has limited what courses we can run of late. If you're an individual, or part of a trust or company, who might have means to change that, please do get in touch. With your help we can offer more opportunities, more courses, and greater individual support to guide those who set their heart on conducting on the world stage.

Your gesture can help us instigate new courses across the UK so more women can step up to the podium and fulfil their potential. You could help us cover the costs of inspirational artists to coach on our workshops and professional musicians for participants to conduct. You can also vitally help us keep courses entirely free for participants so financial means is not a barrier for those with limited means.

If you work in business, you may like to get your company or colleagues in your profession involved: we have run illuminating, fun, interactive workshops introducing corporate guests to our gamechanging work with Women Conductors and inspirational leader Alice Farnham. You and your team can even have the chance at learning to conduct yourselves in a fun, enlivening session led by Alice. Together we could plan such an occasion for you. Please contact us to discuss such possibilities further.

Any donation, however small or large, is deeply valued. We cannot continue to present the Women Conductors programme without fresh financial support from people who believe in the cause. You can simply donate online by clicking the button below, or call us on 020 7287 0019 to let us know you are interested, and we can tell you about further ways you can support and get involved.

'This week will go down in my personal history as one of the richest experiences I've ever had. As my colleague said, "You gave us power, and you gave us community." A million thanks to Women Conductors.' Caroline Slade, participant

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