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Conduct, Compose, Perform: a musician’s life – three online talks in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society

posted on 06/03/2024

As music-lovers, we have ample chances to hear music by our favourite artists in the concert hall, listening to recordings and broadcasts, or by following their creative talents online. But how often do we get to have a real conversation that shows the human side to life as a musician in the 21st-century?

This series celebrates our partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS). The trio of talks, organised and chaired by the RPS, draws back the curtain on the lives of five of the finest contemporary musicians. We will explore how they are inspiring audiences, casting fresh light on overlooked repertoire and sharing their experience of what it means to be an artist today. Across three conversations, we will be joined by Alice Farnham, one of Britain’s foremost conductors who is changing the face of conducting; composers Dani Howard and James B. Wilson, whose orchestral works are enchanting audiences at the BBC Proms and further afield; and violinist Elena Urioste and pianist Tom Poster – both acclaimed soloists and co-founders of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective. They take us behind the scenes, offering fascinating insights into their working lives, their creative passions, and the music that inspires them.

The talks are broadcast live on Zoom on three consecutive Thursdays, from 23rd May to 6th June at 4.30pm and, including Q&A, will last about an hour. Recordings of each episode are then available for viewing, exclusively to subscribers, for eight weeks after the final talk is streamed (1st August 2024).

Register for the webinar series for £45 – a proportion of your subscription fee will be donated to the RPS to support its charitable work.

The talks

1. Alice Farnham (23rd May 2024)

Conductor, teacher and author Alice Farnham trained at the St Petersburg Conservatoire with the legendary conductor Ilya Musin. Known particularly for her work in opera and ballet with major companies across the UK, Europe and Canada, she will share stories from her career as a conductor and highlight her work addressing gender inequality on the podium by empowering the next generation of conductors. Alice is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the RPS Women Conductors programme and Artistic Advisor of Perth Symphony Orchestra’s Women on the Podium initiative in Western Australia. Her book In Good Hands – The Making of a Modern Conductor was published by Faber & Faber in 2023.

2. Dani Howard and James B. Wilson (30th May 2024)

Composers Dani Howard and James B. Wilson are establishing a name for themselves with vivid and engaging orchestral music. Dani’s Trombone Concerto for Peter Moore and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra was hailed an ‘instant classic’. She has recently been appointed Resident Artist with the National Youth Orchestra and is working on a new percussion concerto for Dame Evelyn Glennie and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. James’s landmark work Remnants re-opened London’s Southbank Centre after the Covid pandemic, telling a vital story of 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement. His work 1922 celebrated the BBC’s centenary and was heard by over one million people at the Last Night of the Proms. The two discuss their creative processes and offer unique insights into how composers harness inspiration in all its forms.

3. Elena Urioste and Tom Poster (6th June 2024)

Violinist Elena Urioste has given acclaimed performances as a soloist with major orchestras worldwide, from Carnegie Hall to the Concertgebouw and the BBC Proms; pianist Tom Poster has performed over 40 concertos from Mozart to Ligeti, and is in demand at festivals internationally. Together, they founded and co-direct Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, an Associate Ensemble at Wigmore Hall, casting fresh light on overlooked chamber music repertoire in their celebrated concerts and recordings. As a charismatic performing duo, their album Le Temps retrouvé has recently been released – their second on the Chandos label – highlighting French repertoire from 1911–1926 by Mel Bonis, Gabriel Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn and Lili Boulanger. Elena and Tom reveal the secrets behind their success, the music they are championing, and how they manage busy performing schedules as parents to young son Tico.

About the Royal Philharmonic Society

As one of music’s foremost charities, we’ve been at the heart of classical music-making for over 200 years. The Society was established by a group of musicians in 1813, who set out to establish the regular concert culture and repertory that thrives in Britain today. They drew world-class artists to the UK for the first time, including Mendelssohn and Wagner, and commissioned exhilarating new music – most famously, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Today, we help performers and composers when they can often struggle, with grants, commissions, mentoring and performance opportunities. We help young musicians with insufficient means to acquire the instruments they dearly need to progress. We raise the profile of musical endeavours nationwide through the RPS Awards and our filmed talks and events, cultivating pride and support for so many artists and initiatives worth discovering.

We do this with the help of music-lovers who join our community and take pride in positively shaping the story of music. RPS Membership is an opportunity to make a charitable gesture and show support for music and musicians, make fresh discoveries, and get closer to what’s happening in classical music today. We’re proud of our partnership with Martin Randall Travel to bring audiences closer to the finest musicians, and we look forward to getting to know your musical passions. Visit to find out more.

Register for the webinar series for £45  a proportion of your subscription fee will be donated to the RPS to support its charitable work.

Frequently asked questions

What methods of payment do you accept?

An electronic invoice will be sent to your e-mail address 1–3 working days after you have completed our registration form. Payment can be made online using AMEX, Apple Pay, Google Pay, MasterCard or Visa.

How do I purchase the webinar series as a gift?

Please contact us specifying how many subscriptions you would like and who they are for (we require their full name and e-mail address). We will invoice you directly, and after we have received your payment we will release the webinar joining instructions to your friend(s) or family member(s).

Can I purchase a single episode?

No, unfortunately not. The series must be purchased in full.

How do I join the webinar?

An e-mail confirmation will be sent to you after you have paid for your subscription, which includes your unique link for joining the webinar. Reminder e-mails will be sent to you one day and one hour before each event. We recommend that you download the Zoom software in advance of the first webinar.

Can I watch the live broadcast(s) on more than one device?

Only one device can be connected to the live broadcast(s) at any one time. If you wish to purchase a second subscription, please contact us.

What happens if I am unable to attend the live broadcast(s)? 

A recording will be uploaded to a dedicated webpage approximately two hours after the live broadcast. For copyright reasons, these recordings cannot be made available indefinitely; access is granted for eight weeks after the final live broadcast of the series.

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