Alice Farnham women conductors

'Woman of the Year' Alice Farnham

Morley College offers warm congratulations to music tutor Alice Farnham who has been recognised at Women of the Year awards 2014, celebrating achievement across all fields.

Alice is a renowned conductor who has been selected in recognition of her personal contribution to society to join 450 women from all walks of life at the special 60th Women of the Year lunch.

Alice Farnham is attending in celebration of her work developing the UK’s first conducting programme for women at Morley, which aims to increase the number of young females entering the conducting profession.

With Andrea Brown, Director of Music at Morley College, Alice set up the first conducting programme for young women in 2014 to much acclaim. They are now in the process of securing funding for an additional year-long programme in the hope of engaging more women with conducting as a career.

A prolific conductor in her own right, Alice trained with legendary pedagogue Ilya Musin in St Petersburg, Russia, before embarking on a dazzling career which has included working with the English National Ballet and the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Alice recently directed the Welsh National Youth Opera for their 2013 production of Paul Bunyan and conducted Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at the Mariinsky St Petersburg in November 2013.

Alice comments, “Conducting is a challenging profession, and it frustrates me that people still question whether women can do the job. I wanted to help increase the numbers of women in conducting by making young female musicians aware of conducting as a possible career and to give them the tools to take this forward. I’m very grateful to Morley College for supporting me with this project.

“There are so many women in the world doing wonderful things; it was quite a surprise to be invited to the Women of the Year lunch. I feel very privileged to have been selected, it is a huge honour.”

Women of the Year has recognised, celebrated and inspired women of all backgrounds since 1955. The annual lunch brings together more than 450 extraordinary women, all of whom have achieved something of significance. Each guest is regarded as a ‘Woman of the Year’.

Previous attendees of the Women of the Year lunch have included actresses Olivia Colman and Sheila Hancock CBE; broadcaster and writer Sandi Toksvig; writer and Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman OBE; Founder of  The Everyday sexism Project Laura Bates and TV presenter and journalist Baroness Joan Bakewell OBE.

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