May 16, 2023

Gemma New highlighted in Chicago SunTimes Summer Preview

A CSO 'Concert for Chicago,' the Ravinia Festival, and Grant Park Music Festival among summer's classical music highlights
By Kyle MacMillan
Chicago SunTimes
May 16, 2023

Making her third appearance July 12 at the Grant Park Festival will be Gemma New, a New Zealand-born conductor who took over in 2022 as Artistic Adviser and Principal Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to holding two other posts, including Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, New has guest conducted the New York Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchester National d'Ile de France.

“I'm really loving these very deep and meaningful musical experiences with orchestras all over the world,” she said. “It's a lot of travel, but it's always a real joy, especially when you've had a concert and you feel the energy from the audience and musicians afterward.”

New, 36, who lives in San Francisco, has been mentioned as a possible successor to Carlos Kalmar, who is stepping down next year as Grant Park's music director.

“That would be amazing,” New said. “I would love to build upon this relationship with the Grant Park Orchestra, and I think this is such a strong festival in Chicago, such an amazing experience for audiences.”

New's July 12 program includes the little-heard Symphony No. 1 by American composer Samuel Barber, who is best known for his moving “Adagio for Strings.”

“It's deeply romantic, deeply emotional and such a turbulent, dark and devastating symphony,” she said. “It will be my fourth time performing it in recent years, and I absolutely love it.”

Read the full preview here.