12 Female Conductors to Complete NCH Programme with Concert Performances

L to R: Paul Jacobs, Siobhán O’Donnell, Meadhbh Campbell, Emily Cox, Mary Walsh, Dara Pender, Tamasine Plowman, Celine Leong, Margaret Bridge, Síofra Ní Dhubhghaill, Muireann Ní Dhubhghaill, Aine Gell, Amy Ryan, and Alice Farnham (Photo: Mark Stedman).

12 Female Conductors to Complete NCH Programme with Concert Performances

RTÉ NSO events to mark finale of two-year project.

The final series of events in the National Concert Halls’s Female Conductor Programme, which was set up to address inequality in the profession, will take place at the end of this month and the beginning of February. On 31 January, a concert will take place at the NCH featuring a number of the conductors. The concert is the finale of the two-year programme in which twelve participants took part. The showcase concert will be led by the programme’s Artistic Director and conductor Alice Farnham, and will feature the participants and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra performing Haydn’s Symphony No. 103 and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.

Ahead of the concert, the conductors will take part in a weekend of rehearsals with the NSO, and on 1 February, all twelve will conduct the orchestra in a closed event. The participants are Áine Gell, Amy Ryan, Margaret Bridge, Celine Leong, Dara Pender, Emily Cox, Muireann Ní Dhubhghaill, Siobhán O’Donnell, Síofra Ní Dhubhghaill , Mary Walsh, Meadhbh Campbell and Tamasine Plowman. 

The aim of the Female Conductor Programme is to take steps in correcting the gender imbalance in orchestral conducting through a programme designed to coach, mentor, encourage and promote talented conductors in the early stages of their careers. The programme has featured contributions from conductors Marin Alsop, David Brophy and Eimear Noone, covering topics such as leadership, conducting technique, interpretation, practice, and the power of music to effect social change. 

The Female Conductor Programme is supported by Grant Thornton, and the participants also took part in a programme of leadership and professional development workshops delivered by the firm. 

Commenting on the programme, Robert Read, CEO of the NCH, said:  

We are delighted to present the finale of the Female Conductor Programme. Providing a platform and a means of engagement for female conductors to explore conducting opportunities and develop new skills is critical in ensuring cultural equity and in defining a path forward for those who wish to pursue a career on the podium. We are aware of the challenges that currently exist for female conductors in classical music and are intent on continuing to provide support and create opportunities for those who wish to develop their potential as a conductor. 

Anthony Long, General Manager of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, added: 

Nothing beats standing in front of an orchestra. Make it a highly experienced professional symphony orchestra and one is in a different league where in an instant, every moment can be a learning. We have been delighted to provide opportunities for these talented participants and to allow them access to our conductors, rehearsals and concerts. 

For further information and tickets, visit: https://bit.ly/3GAlixg

Published on 18 January 2022

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