New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New is Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Resident Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. She was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, a position she assumes in the 2019-20 season. These performances mark her San Francisco Symphony debut.
Ms. New holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute, where she studied with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar. She graduated with honors from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand with a bachelor’s in violin performance. A former Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. New has led youth, school, and community programs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and assisted Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen. She previously served as associate conductor of the New Jersey Symphony and is a recipient of the David Karetsky Conducting Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and an Ansbacher Fellowship. As a Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellow, she studied Mendelssohn’s music with Kurt Masur in Leipzig and led the Leipziger Symphonieorchester in the historic Lindensaal of Markkleeberg.
Highlights from Ms. New’s 2018-19 season included her debut with the New York Philharmonic, and appearances with the symphonies of Toronto, Detroit, San Diego, Rochester, Calgary, Florida, Jacksonville, Louisiana, Charlotte, Tucson, and Winnipeg. She also conducted the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester in Germany. In April 2019, she led the Saint Louis Symphony on a program of works by Thomas Adès, Mozart, and R. Strauss. In Summer 2018, Ms. New made appearances at the Grant Park Music Festival and Chautauqua Festival. She spent the summer as a Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, where she led the world premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s In America. In 2017, she received a Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award.
Ms. New’s 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.
Having a strong interest in new music, Ms. New made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 where she led 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 thirty works over six seasons. She has also conducted several contemporary operas including Jean-Pierre Arnaud’s arrangement of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde with the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio. She has assisted on Los Angeles Philharmonic semi-staged productions of Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.