Gemma New

Conductor, Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor

Gemma New’s role as the NZSO’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor is kindly supported by the NZSO Foundation – which is made possible by the extraordinary generosity of the Orchestra’s donors.

Gemma New conducts in Mahler 5, Jupiter and The Planets.

Sought after for her insightful interpretations and dynamic presence, New Zealand-born Gemma New is the Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of Canada’s Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. 

The 2023/24 season will mark New’s ninth and final season as Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and her second season as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

In Summer 2023, New makes debuts at the BBC Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, and she returns to the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She additionally makes festival appearances including Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival, Festival de la Chaise-Dieu with Orchestre National de Lyon and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where she leads a production of Susannah.

During her 2023/24 season, New makes subscription debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony and Orchestre National de France. North American returns include the Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Continually in demand in Europe, New makes her debut with the Bamberger Symphoniker as well as conducting the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Barcelona y Nacional de Cataluña, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen-Normandie, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine and Staatsorchester Hannover.

New regularly appears with top orchestras in North America and Europe, having conducted the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, WDR Sinfonieorchester, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester, Ulster Orchestra, Orchestre National d’Ile de France and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

In her work as Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic, New has been committed to deepening the artistic level of the orchestra and expanding its reach into the community. New launched the HPO’s first “Intimate and Immersive” concert series, which celebrates music by Canadian composers in a visually vibrant setting. From Handel’s Messiah, to Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, to Iman Habibi’s Jeder Baum spricht, the HPO under New's leadership has embraced a programming style that builds trust and excitement with audiences. Highlights include collaborations with Canada’s leading soloists, such as James Ehnes, Timothy Chooi, Janina Fialkowska and Stewart Goodyear. New has also encouraged the growth of the HPO Family and Education programs, as well as actively contributing to the strong relationship between the HPO and the HPYO.

New previously served for four seasons as Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and she served as Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony. A former Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, she was awarded Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards in 2017, 2019 and 2020, before receiving the 2021 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award.

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