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6 March 2024

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International Women’s Day: St Hugh’s celebrates the conducting career of alumna, Alice Farnham

On the eve-eve of International Women’s Day St Hugh’s is celebrating the hugely successful career of alumna, Alice Farnham (Music, 1989) who is one of Britain’s leading conductors and most recently, was shortlisted for Conductor of the Year by The Royal Philharmonic Society.

In 2023, 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.

As well as being a professional conductor, Alice is one of the world’s foremost advocates and activists for empowering women to conduct. She is the Artistic Director of Women Conductors which she co-founded with fellow conductor Andrea Brown in 2014 – a programme to encourage women to try conducting. Alice said, ‘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.’

In 2023, Faber published Alice’s book ‘In Good Hands: The Making of A Modern Conductor’ which is about 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.

You can read more about Alice’s conducting career and time at St Hugh’s in an interview which featured in Chronicle 2022-23, alongside St Hugh’s Honorary Fellow and Conductor, Jane Glover.

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