About this Artist
Sought after for her insightful interpretations and dynamic presence, New Zealand-born Gemma New is Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Hailed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as “a rising star in the musical firmament”, New is the recipient of the 2021 Solti Conducting Award.
The 2020/21 season has seen Gemma New make debuts with the Seattle Symphony and the New Zealand Symphony, which she conducted on three programs including Handel’s Messiah on a global IDAGIO livestream. In January, she returned to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and this Spring, she makes her Spain debut with the Basque National Orchestra. She leads three subscription programs with the Dallas Symphony in her second season as Principal Guest Conductor.
New recently made debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony and with the New York Philharmonic on a Young People’s Concert. Her 2019/20 season included international engagements with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Ulster Orchestra, and New Zealand Symphony.
New has conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester, Malmö Symfoniorkester, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester, Filharmonia Szczecin, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Toronto Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and many others.
Her work as Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic has been committed to deepening the artistic level of the orchestra and expanding its reach into the community. She recently launched the HPO’s first “Intimate and Immersive” concert series, creating a closer-to-the-music atmosphere by combining treasures of the orchestra canon and contemporary music, electronic indie music, lighting and visual art installations. New also implemented a Family Series in her first year as Music Director, and this past season started Schools' Concerts. She has regularly welcomed local students to sit onstage during rehearsals and encouraged a close relationship with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra who now play side-by-side with the HPO annually. Her programs present wide-ranging repertoire including works by core masters such as Beethoven and Mahler, and extending through today’s most active composers from Canada and New Zealand, such as Zosha di Castri, José Evangelista, Salina Fisher and Kevin Lau.
New recently completed a four-year tenure as Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. She led the SLSO and the Youth Orchestra in a combined 77 concerts spanning from summer outdoor concerts in the park for audiences of 15,000 and John Williams film programs to subscription programs with the SLSO including on masterworks such as Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Respighi’s Pines of Rome and a live broadcast performance of Live From Here with Chris Thile.
A former Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New served previously as Associate Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony. In 2018, she was a Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center where she led the world premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s “In America”. She served previously as Associate Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony. She is a former recipient of the David Karetsky Conducting Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and an Ansbacher Fellowship, in which she was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic to observe rehearsals and concerts at the Salzburg Festival. As a Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellow, she studied Mendelssohn’s music with Kurt Masur in Leipzig and led the Leipziger Symphonieorchester. Prior to receiving the 2021 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, she was awarded Solti Foundation Career Assistance Awards in 2017, 2019 and 2020.
Committed to new music, New made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013, leading works by John Adams and Andrew Norman on the American Soundscapes series. In 2010, she founded the Lunar Ensemble, a nine-member contemporary music ensemble that premiered 30 works over six seasons. New has conducted works by Thomas Adès, Anna Clyne, Steve Mackey, Aaron Jay Kernis and others.
New holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, where she studied with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar. She graduated with honors from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance.