Conductor Gemma New Makes Proms Debut
“Every musical era has its characteristic audience faux pas. Once upon a time it was failing to remove extravagant headwear, which obscured the view of those sitting behind. These days – and despite rules, signage and announcements galore – it’s mobile phones that regularly intrude. Four were dropped in the first half of this prom alone. And conductor [New Zealander] Gemma New began her much-anticipated Proms debut in duet with a ringtone, a sound particularly out of place in the opening of Samy Moussa’s Symphony No 2 (its European premiere, with the composer present), which emerges from a single note before refracting gradually into slow-moving suspensions and circling repetitions of a single scale-like motif,” Flora Willson writes in a review of the Royal Albert performance for The Guardian.
“After the interval, Stravinsky’s ballet score The Firebird – played in its entirety, rather than the highlights-only Suite – was in New’s ever-expressive hands an exercise in delayed gratification.”
New next conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons at the Hollywood Bowl on 31 August ahead of dates in Sweden and Germany.
Original article by Flora Willson, The Guardian, August 20, 2023.
Photo by Chris Christodoulou.