Marin Alsop and Sandi Toksvig in Conversation

Join us online for an in conversation event with our Honorary Fellows, conductor Marin Alsop and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig. Please book using the form at the bottom of this page.


Marin and Sandi will discuss music, comedy and their careers in these historically male dominated fields. Join us online for an evening with two of Newnham’s favourite rebellious and witty women.

This event will be held on Zoom. You will need a Zoom account to watch this virtual event. Information on how to join the online event will be shared 24 hours before the start of the event.

Sandi Toksvig OBE, began her comedy career at Girton College, Cambridge where she wrote and performed in the first all-woman Footlights show.

Sandi is well known to UK audiences as a broadcaster, in recent years she took over from Stephen Fry as host of BBC2’s hugely popular quiz show QI. From 2017 to 2020 Sandi co-hosted The Great British Bake Off with Noel Fielding, in its move to Channel 4. For a decade Sandi was a familiar voice to BBC Radio 4 listeners as the chair of The News Quiz which led to her induction into the Radio Hall of Fame. Sandi is passionate about live performance. She performed at the very first night of The Comedy Store in London and for many years was a member of The Comedy Store Players, an improvisational comedy team.

Much of Sandi’s time is devoted to writing and in 2019 she became president of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. Sandi has written more than twenty fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults. Her latest book, a memoir, entitled Between the Stops published in October 2019 and follows her novel The End of the Sky published in 2017.

Sandi is an activist for gender equality. In 2014 she co-founded the Women’s Equality Party.

Marin Alsop is one of the foremost conductors of our time. She is internationally recognized for her innovative approach to programming and audience development, deep commitment to education, and advocacy for music’s importance in the world. The first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America, Austria and Britain, she is, as the New York Times put it, not only “a formidable musician and a powerful communicator” but also “a conductor with a vision.”

The 2019-20 season marked Marin’s first as Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, which she leads at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Musikverein, and on recordings, broadcasts and tours. Marin has longstanding relationships with the London Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras, and regularly guest conducts such major international ensembles as the Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, La Scala Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Budapest Festival Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Recognized with multiple Gramophone Awards, Marin’s extensive discography includes recordings for Decca, Harmonia Mundi and Sony Classical, as well as acclaimed Naxos cycles of Brahms with the London Philharmonic, Dvořák with the Baltimore Symphony, and Prokofiev with the São Paulo Symphony. Committed to new music, she was Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music for 25 years.

The first and only conductor to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, Marin has also been honoured with the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, and made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. To promote and nurture the careers of her fellow female conductors, in 2002 she founded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, which was renamed in her honour as the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship in 2020.

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