New Face of International Music Conducting
Gemma New, the 28-year-old native New Zealander violinist who became a professional conductor while still in her teens, has been named the music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s in Ontario, Canada.
New, who also serves as the associate conductor at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and founder/director of the Lunar Ensemble, a new music collective based in Baltimore, Maryland, was the recent recipient of the prestigious Dudamel Fellowship. As part of that distinction, New led the Los Angeles Philharmonic Symphonies for Youth, Symphonies for Schools, and Community Concert programs—conducting at venues including the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Hall—and was mentored by legendary Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director, Gustavo Dudamel.
“Gemma New embodies everything we want in a music director,” says Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) chairman of the board Robert Savage on the organization’s two-year search to fill the position. “She’s an outstanding musician and an experienced conductor; she’s also smart and creative. . . We think Gemma is a great fit not just for HPO but for the city as a whole, given Hamilton’s emergence as an arts and culture hub.”
New replaces former music director Jamie Sommerville, who announced he was leaving HPO in spring 2013. An international recruitment process brought six short-listed candidates to Canada to audition as guest conductors over the 2014-2015 HPO season. HPO musician spokesperson Marsha Moffitt said the cultural institution is “thrilled to be working with Gemma New, who is known around the world as a rising star. Working alongside our orchestra, we’re confident we’ll achieve new heights.”
The young conductor’s new role is the latest in a growing list of accolades, appointments, and honors that include: 2013 Carnegie Hall conducting debut; being selected the David A. Karetsky Conducting Fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen; being awarded the Ansbacher Fellowship by the Vienna Philharmonic to take up residence at the Salzburg Music Festival; and WQXR declaring her one of the “Top Five Women Conductors on the Rise.”
Article Source: Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra