HAMILTON, ON—The Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the renewal of Gemma New’s contract as Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra through the 2023-24 Season.
“Gemma’s vision of programming ambitious and engaging works for the mainstage along with developing new and diverse programs for the community has brought the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra to new heights,” says Anne Tennier, Chair of the Board of Directors, “We are delighted that we will continue to share in Gemma’s artistic vision and leadership.”
Gemma joined the HPO as Music Director in the spring of 2015 following a rigorous international search. This is her second contract renewal.
“It has been a true joy to work with the musicians and staff of the HPO these past six seasons,” says New, “Together, we have seen the orchestra grow and reach new audiences throughout the Hamilton region. I look forward to leading the HPO’s artistic vision in the coming seasons.”
New made her debut with the HPO in February 2016. As Music Director, she has committed to deepening the artistic level of the orchestra and expanding its reach in the community. In the 16-17 Season, she launched the HPO’s Intimate and Immersive concert series, creating a closer-to-the-music atmosphere that combines orchestral music with visual art installations, lighting and electronic indie music. New also implemented the Marz Homes Family Concert Series in her first year as Music Director, and in the 18-19 Season re-established an annual daytime concert for schools, conducting Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s work The Hockey Sweater for 1900 students. New has regularly welcomed local students to sit onstage during rehearsals and encourages a close relationship with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, who now play side-by-side with the HPO annually.
“Gemma brings such energy and passion to her work”, says Executive Director Kim Varian, “Her wonderful relationship with our musicians, staff and community says so much about her commitment to Hamilton. I am excited to continue working with Gemma on our vibrant future.”
In addition to her role as Music Director of the HPO, New also holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and maintains a busy guest conducting schedule. In the 19-20 Season, New made major conducting debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony, in addition to debuts with National Symphony Orchestra D.C., Milwaukee Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Ulster Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony and New Zealand Symphony. Earlier, she led the opening concerts of the St. Louis Symphony and made her debut with the New York Philharmonic on a Young People’s Concert program. Despite COVID-19, New anticipates a 20-21 Season that will include performances with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican Centre in May 2021.
About the HPO: The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.
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