• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever
(Photo credit: Sage Gateshead)

Royal Philharmonic Society Expands Female Conducting Program

In partnership with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the multi-year initiative aims to advance gender equality in conducting

First established in 2014 by conductor Alice Farnham, the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Women Conductors program has since provided educational and performance opportunities to over 500 female conductors.

The expanded program aims to bring together several conductors twice a year to work with the Royal Northern Sinfonia (RNS) and provides them year-round professional support and guidance from the RPS.

Last week, the partnership began with a two-day pilot from June 14-15 at Sage Gateshead, home of the RNS.

Four conductors — Olivia Clarke, Helen Harrison, Charlotte Corduroy, and Hannah Schneider — participated in the pilot. 

“What is so great about this is that Alice [Farnham] and RPS really take the time to get to know the participants beforehand as artists and really offered bespoke support,” Clarke told The Violin Channel. “We had enough time on the podium to establish a connection with the players, and either rehearse or run — whatever we thought was more beneficial… The atmosphere was positive throughout.”

The pilot event was divided into four working sessions with the RNS over two days, where Farnham provided coaching to participants. Additional "conversation" sessions were built into the schedule, a "rare opportunity which regular rehearsal schedules seldom afford," according to Chief Executive of the Royal Philharmonic Society James Murphy.

Clarke added that she appreciated participants’ ability to film sessions, the chance to “try new things in a safe space,” and the opportunity to have open conversations with orchestra players — which she hopes will “lead to more democratic rehearsal rooms that will help the industry eradicate ingrained behaviors that damage their diversity and creative potential.”

According to a Sage Gateshead press release, less than six percent of the 371 conductors represented by British agents are female.

Going forward, Murphy told The Violin Channel that the program plans to draw on "what the conductors and orchestra found fruitful in this pilot."

Later this fall, the RPS will take applications for additional opportunities beginning in January 2022, where the chosen cohort will then meet with the RNS for an intensive couple of days twice per year. Those interested should follow @RoyalPhilSoc for more information.

upcoming events

september 2023

17sepAll Day23Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors(All Day) Kursaal, 2 Pl. du Théâtre, 25000 Besançon, FranceEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBesançon International Competition for Young ConductorsFOLLOW

21sepAll Day03octKronberg Academy Festival(All Day) Kronberg Academy, Beethovenpl. 1, 61476 Kronberg im Taunus, GermanyEvent Type :OtherFOLLOW

22sepAll Day24Cremona Musica International Exhibitions and Festivals(All Day) Cremona Exhibition Centre, Piazza Zelioli Lanzini, 1 26100 Cremona, ItalyEvent Type :conferences & tradeshowsFOLLOW

26sepAll Day30Trondheim International Piano Trio Competition(All Day) Frimurerlogen i Trondhjem Selskapslokaler, Kongens gate 3, 7011 Trondheim, NorwayEvent Type :competitions Event TagsTrondheim International Chamber Music CompetitionFOLLOW

october 2023

16octAll Day27"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition(All Day) Teatro Carlo Felice, Passo Eugenio Montale, 4, 16121 Genova GE, ItalyEvent Type :competitions Event Tags"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

20oct1:00 pm5:00 pmLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls RdEvent Type :competitions Event TagsLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach CompetitionFOLLOW

23octAll Day29Concours de Genève International Music Competition — String Quartet(All Day) Victoria Hall, Rue du Général-Dufour 14, 1204 Genève, SwitzerlandEvent Type :competitions Event TagsConcours de Genève,string quartetFOLLOW

28octAll Day05novISANGYUN International Piano Competition(All Day) Tongyeon Concert Hall, 38, Keunbalgae 1-Gil Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, 53079 South KoreaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsIsangYun International Piano Competition,Piano CompetitionFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right