Gemma New Named Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

DALLAS, TX (October 17, 2018) – Dallas Symphony Association Chairman Sanjiv Yajnik, Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi and President & CEO Kim Noltemy announced today that conductor Gemma New has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor, Dolores G. & Lawrence S. Barzune, M.D. Chair of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She will conduct two weeks of concerts in the 2019/20 season and three weeks of concerts in the 2020/21 season. New’s appearances in 2019 will coincide with the DSO’s inaugural Women in Classical Music Symposium.

New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New is currently Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Ontario, Canada and Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. A recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch review hailed her as “a rising star in the musical firmament.”

“It is a great pleasure and privilege to be named to this position at the Dallas Symphony,” said New. “I am looking forward to joining these exceptional musicians on the Meyerson Symphony Center stage, creating transformative performances with them as well as making many new friends in Dallas.”

“Gemma is one of the most exciting young conductors active on the international stage today,” said Kim Noltemy, Dallas Symphony Association President & CEO. “Our search committee was extremely impressed with her inspiring podium leadership and the excellent artistic achievements during her St. Louis Symphony tenure. We know that she will be a fantastic artistic complement to incoming Music Director Fabio Luisi.”

New was unanimously chosen following an extensive search by a committee comprised of DSO musicians, board and staff, and with the artistic leadership of Fabio Luisi.

"Gemma's appointment is a continuation of DSO's journey in elevating exceptional talent in classical music," said Yajnik. "Her artistic ability is not only an incredible addition to the orchestra, but also paves the way for many more women to follow in her path."

Sought after for her insightful interpretations and dynamic presence, Gemma 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 (I & I) 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. The 2018/19 HPO MainStage and I & I series present wide-ranging repertoire including works by core orchestral masters such as Beethoven and Mahler, and extending through some of today's most exciting living composers such as Zosha di Castri, José Evangelista, Salina Fisher and Kevin Lau. 

As Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, New opened the 2018/19 subscription season with Elgar’s Enigma Variations, and returns to the podium for a second subscription week later in the season to lead a program featuring works by Thomas Adès, Mozart and Richard Strauss. New also continues her tenure as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, now in its 49th season nurturing over 100 of St. Louis’s finest young musicians. 

New is active as a guest conductor worldwide, appearing with such orchestras as the Auckland Philharmonia and Christchurch Symphony in her native New Zealand, numerous North American orchestras including, among others, the Detroit, New Jersey, San Diego and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Her guest conducting in Europe includes engagements with various European orchestras including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Helsingborg and Malmö Symphony Orchestras, the Szczecin Philharmonic, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester, and the Orchestre de Chamber de Lausanne.

New was recently a Conducting Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and has also been a former Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a David A. Karetsky Conducting Fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and an Ansbacher Fellow during which she was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic to take up residence at the Salzburg Music Festival, and a Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellow, studying Mendelssohn’s music with Kurt Masur and leading the Leipziger Symphonieorchester. New has also served as Associate Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony. 

Holding a strong interest in contemporary music, New made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 2013 when 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 ran for six seasons, premiered over 30 works and toured around the USA. In 2017, New received a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, in support of her operatic pursuits. New has conducted several contemporary operas, and most recently led Jean-Pierre Arnaud’s arrangement of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde with the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio.

New holds a Masters of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, where she studied with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar. She graduated from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with a Bachelor of Music (Honors) in violin performance.

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About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world's premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 211,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming. The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900, and it is a cornerstone of the unique, 68-acre Arts District in downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks, the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Dallas.

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