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THE SCOOP | Gemma New Announced Music Director of Hamilton Philharmonic

By Michael Vincent on May 5, 2015

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has announced 28-year-old conductor Gemma New as their new music director. Photo: Lorena
The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has announced 28-year-old conductor Gemma New as their new music director. Photo: Lorena

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) have appointed Gemma New as its Music Director. The New Zealand native has been hired on a three-year contract, beginning Wednesday May 6, 2015.

The announcement marks the end of a two-year search to replace HPO’s former Music Director Jamie Sommerville, who had announced his departure after seven seasons, in the Spring 2013. The appointment is significant in that New marks one of only three female music directors for a professional orchestra in Canada.

“I am very excited to be coming to Hamilton as music director,” New stated, “I was so impressed with the orchestra and all the people I met during my audition.”

At just 28 years old, she won the 2014-15 Dudamel Fellowship with the LA Philharmonic and will be conducting eight education outreach concerts in Los Angeles this spring. She is also the Associate Conductor at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and founder/director of the Lunar Ensemble, a new music collective based in Baltimore, Maryland.

HPO Chair of the Board Robert Savage said, “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. She really embraces the role of art and culture in a city’s development.”

Gemma New beat out six other candidates during an extensive international recruitment campaign, which included feedback from the audience and musicians during each audition.

Each of the six was also taken to community events to meet people and was interviewed by the search committee. Audience members and musicians provided feedback to the search committee following each audition.

“Working alongside our orchestra, we’re confident we’ll achieve new heights,” HPO musician spokesperson Marsha Moffitt said.

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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
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