Women Conductors: new courses

28 Feb 2019

We are pleased to announce two significant new short courses as part of our thriving Women Conductors programme which aims to address gender inequality on the conducting podium.

We reunite with the Royal Opera House to present the courses, one specialising in opera and one in ballet. These are intended for women who are already working conductors who would benefit from developing greater confidence and deeper practical knowledge of conducting for these art forms. While there is a very gradual increase in the number of women conducting orchestral concerts in the UK and beyond, they remain a conspicuously rare presence in mainstage opera and ballet. It is hoped these courses will help propel women conductors of great promise to more such opportunities.

The Opera course – presented with the Royal Opera and National Opera Studio – takes place in London from 1 to 5 July 2019. It follows an initial course last September which received a huge number of applications. The new course will be led by renowned conductor Jessica Cottis alongside RPS Women Conductors founder Alice Farnham, and the National Opera Studio’s Head of Music Mark Shanahan. Though principally based at the National Opera Studio, participants will spend time backstage at the Royal Opera House with its key music staff. Further details can be found here.

The Ballet course – presented with the Royal Ballet – takes place on 18 and 19 May 2019. Participants will have the chance to conduct Royal Ballet dancers, learning what they need and expect from a conductor, and how musicians and dancers collaborate. Paul Murphy, Principal Conductor of Birmingham Royal Ballet, will coach participants alongside Alice Farnham and Jonathan Lo who recently conducted New Works, New Music, the Royal Ballet’s acclaimed return to the renovated Linbury Theatre. Further details can be found here.

Also this summer, we present two one-day courses as part of Kings Place’s year-long festival celebrating female musicians Venus Unwrapped. These are for women pursuing a career in music, keen to make conducting a more significant part of their work. These take place on 13 July and 28 July: click either date for more information.

Please help spread the word of these opportunities to anyone you know who may benefit from participating.

These follow courses in Glasgow in February and Liverpool in March, and we will soon be announcing more courses taking place in Autumn. For more information about our Women Conductors programme, click here.


Dame Janet Baker CH DBE, legendary mezzo-soprano: awarded RPS Honorary Membership in 1987 and the RPS Gold Medal in 1990


The Philharmonic Society received its Royal title in 1912 and enjoys the immediate patronage of Her Majesty The Queen.