New is the first woman in the history of the orchestra to hold the position of principal conductor.
Gemstone New became the first woman in the history of New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa (NZSO) to take up a position as principal conductor. New to has been appointed Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Orchestra and will take up his duties immediately, holding the position for a period of three years.
The combined post of conductor and adviser is the first of its kind for a New Zealand orchestra. In this new role, New will be directing programmes, performing throughout New Zealand and advising the Orchestra on decisions regarding programming, projects and collaborations.
New said: “I am delighted to join this exceptional team who contribute so much to the vibrant music scene in Aotearoa, New Zealand. were deeply impressed and inspired by the excellence, passion, dedication and inventiveness of the musicians and staff, and elated by the audience’s enthusiastic reception of our performances.
Aged 35, New is currently musical director of Canada’s Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of Dallas Symphony Orchestra. New made his NZSO debut in 2020 and has conducted seven programs with the orchestra in 2020 and 2021 as well as two recorded performances.
NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs said: “We are delighted that, even with her extensive international commitments, Gemma is committed to taking on this exciting new role within the NZSO. Her knowledge and experience with some of the world’s finest orchestras, as well as her close ties to New Zealand orchestras, make her invaluable in her new role with the NZSO.
In August 2022, New will lead three NZSO concerts in Wellington and Auckland with the Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn. In 2023, she will lead the orchestra in centers across New Zealand including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Napier and Tauranga.
New grew up in Wellington and becomes a conductor under the mentorship of Los Angeles Philharmonic musical director Gustavo Dudamel. She received on 2021 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Prize and this season she also conducts the WDR Symphonie-Orchestra Köln and the National Orchestra of the Island of Paris.
Founded in 1947, the NZSO is the national orchestra of New Zealand. In 2016 he was nominated for a Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance. You can find out more about the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa here.