July 25, 2021

Critical acclaim on NZSO and Aspen Music Festival Chamber Symphony performances

Following performances leading both the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Aspen Chamber Symphony, critics commend Gemma New on her mastery, musical depth, and electricity.

Max Rashbrooke of Stuff New Zealand writes: “This was a masterful performance. New’s conducting was magnificent, her dynamic and rhythmic control immaculate and even the warmest, most indulgent moments shaped with absolute clarity.”

Harvey Steiman of The Aspen Times praises: “New introduced an Aspen audience to her energetic, athletic conducting style, favoring big gestures to accentuate a commanding visual presence on the podium. These paid off in a joyride through Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony, which combined bouncy rhythms with weightless textures in the orchestral balances”

Five Lines' Elizabeth Kerr states: “On the podium her detailed preparation is evident. New appeared utterly in control of the score, confident and authoritative and ensuring all musicians were embraced by her attention. As conductor she embodied the music with bold, dynamic gestures, producing an electrifying performance. New’s use of gesture varies considerably, depending on the requirements of the music. Her approach is always about the integrity of the music itself and as well as her apparently intuitive artistic insight she has a refreshing absence of ego. New has a nurturing approach to the orchestral musicians and a deep commitment to the composer’s intentions. New has the answers required, the whole package of musical understanding and skills needed for a successful career on the podium.”

Peter Mechen of Middle C: Classical Music Review exclaims: “New enabled the opening notes from the bassoon to materialise in a sonic sense as if sounded in a dream, slowly and timelessly, a hypnotic beginning, the instrument enabled to almost ‘speak’ in primitive but expressive tones, the sounds unfolding and transfixing us with their direct, spontaneous-sounding lines, mirroring New’s balletic movements of direction and encouragement. New’s rhythmic control enabling some magnificent playing, the figurations from all parts of the ensemble forward-thrusting and dovetailing their varied impulses with real flair! New was as kinetic in her movements as ever.”

To view Gemma New's upcoming appearances, click here.