March 8, 2021

Gemma New Named 12th Recipient of Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

Monday, March 8, 2021 



Massachusetts - New York 

The Solti Foundation U.S. Announces 2021 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award Conductor Gemma New 12th recipient of largest U.S. grant currently given to young American conductors 

Evanston, IL – The Solti Foundation U.S. revealed today the twelfth recipient of the organization’s major grant, The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. Given annually to a single promising American conductor 38 years of age or younger, The Sir Georg Solti Fellow, as it is also called, provides career guidance, industry connections and a cash purse of $30,000 to allow grant recipients to further hone their skills. 

Announced by Foundation Board Chair Penny Van Horn and Elizabeth Buccheri, Artistic and Awards Committee Chair from their respective homes, the grant continues to help up-and-coming leaders of tomorrow.

For over two decades, the Foundation has diligently helped American conductors in the early stages of their careers. A recipient of The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award may use the financial portion of the grant in various ways to specifically advance his/her career, whether it be further studies, language study, purchases of scores, or travel. The Foundation's Board of Directors comprises experts from all areas of the classical music industry, and therefore the Award also brings door-opening introductions within the industry and valuable access to professional mentors.

Ms. Van Horn stated, “The unanticipated challenges created by the pandemic has affected everyone worldwide. It has been difficult for the arts industry and especially for our young musicians. The Solti Foundation U.S. is honored to be able to continue its work and to support young conductors during this time. We look forward to returning to concert halls, opera houses and theaters enjoying live music and performances. Our mission is to identify, support and promote emerging conductors as they launch their classical careers. In doing so they continue to have the opportunity to demonstrate their musicianship, leadership, and full potential to the best possible audience. 

"It is my pleasure to announce Gemma New as the 2021 recipient of The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. We have observed Gemma for several years and have been impressed with her growth and development. Congratulations Gemma! We will be excited to see where your obvious talent takes you." 

Ms. Buccheri added, "With these young conducting applicants, we first look for skills on the podium. We then look for passion and the ability to communicate through the music. These are just some of the qualities that Sir Georg exhibited throughout his long career. Gemma New is a wonderful example of Solti’s belief in the power of music, and it has been a joy to watch her grow in musical depth and presence over the past several seasons since she first became a recipient of a Foundation Career Assistance Award. Congratulations Gemma.” 

About The Solti Foundation U.S.

Now in its 21st year working with outstanding young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young conductors. 

Established in 2000, the Foundation honors the memory of the legendary conductor Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians. In 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to solely assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers (its original mission was of a more general arts nature). Since then, it has awarded over one million dollars through grants and residencies to American conductors.

The Foundation endeavors to seek out those musicians who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georg's active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards.

While dedicated to identifying and assisting young conductors early on, the Foundation is also concerned with the long-term development of its award recipients. It continues to offer support and maintains a constant interest in their growth and achievements.

The Foundation currently awards the following grants annually:

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award 

The prestigious $30,000 grant is given annually to a single promising American conductor 38 years of age or younger. It is the largest grant currently given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers. The Award, also known as The Solti Fellow, includes door-opening introductions, ongoing professional mentoring, and introductions to two of Chicago's most prestigious performing organizations: Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Past recipients include Aram Demirjian, Yaniv Dinur, Roderick Cox, Christopher Allen, Karina Canellakis, Vladimir Kulenovic, Cristian Macelaru, James Feddeck, Case Scaglione, Eric Nielsen, and Anthony Barrese.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The amount of the Career Assistance Awards varies.

The Elizabeth Buccheri Opera Residency

Introduced in the 2014-15 season, the program places former award recipients with a distinguished opera house for one-on-one mentoring and coaching of an opera during the company's professional season. Recipients have worked with numerous stellar opera companies renowned for their artistic excellence across the country, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee, North Carolina Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Conductors cannot apply but are instead selected by the Artistic and Awards Committee.

The Solti Foundation U.S. is the only American Foundation to grant these kinds of awards each year to young American conductors. Only citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are career-ready artists in the field of conducting are eligible to apply.

Applicants for all Solti Foundation U.S. awards must be able to demonstrate that he/she is developing a career as a symphonic/operatic conductor. All applications from The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award are considered for a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. Applications are reviewed by an awards committee comprised of a panel of professionals with broad musical and conducting experience. The Foundation reserves the right to withhold a grant in any given year if the Awards Committee does not find suitable applicants in one or more of the various award categories.

For further details on The Solti Foundation U.S., its past awardees, their biographical information, the Foundation's newsletter, as well as guidelines for the upcoming 2022 Awards and a downloadable application form, please visit the Foundation's website at:

Click here for Dropbox link to pdf of this release and Gemma New biography and photos.

Press Contact:

Laura Grant, Grant Communications