August 24, 2023

Top praise for Gemma New’s BBC Proms debut

The Guardian wrote:

“New’s emphatic, muscular sweeps drew hard-earned tone quality from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.”

“The payoff felt astonishing: the all-important horn solo warm and easy, the now-familiar melody passed around the orchestra with the awe accorded a newborn, the brass gleaming irresistibly.”


Broadway World wrote:

“Conductor Gemma New was very expressive, and it almost felt as though the music was being channelled through her, so in sync was she with each piece. Even turning the pages on her score became part of the performance.”


London Unattached wrote:

“Gemma New was a joy to watch and almost balletic in her conducting. She produced a sensitive and cohesive performance from the orchestra with this ever-popular work.”


Colins Column wrote:

“Gemma New relished the music’s painterly qualities, bringing the fairy-tale to narrative and scenic life, and drawing full-flavoured as well as subtly varied playing from the BBC Scottish members – shapely, precise, lucid, with offstage and extra brass in good perspective.” 

“Between them, Kolesnikov and New found fresh and pertinent angles to really open the work up, now less of a divertissement, with something darker, sinister and regretful given added value.”

Lark Reviews wrote:
“New Zealand conductor Gemma New, surely a prima ballerina in a previous life, seemed ideal for this repertoire, directing with dramatic and muscular gestures and bringing the score to a radiant finish.”

NZEDGE wrote:
“After the interval, Stravinsky’s ballet score The Firebird – played in its entirety, rather than the highlights-only Suite – was in New’s ever-expressive hands an exercise in delayed gratification.”

Classical Source wrote:

“...New secured playing that was animated and maintained momentum without detracting from the overall coherence of the piece." "New conducted with an ear for detail and a feeling for orchestral texture..." "...the slightly slower tempo than usual allowed New to bring out some nice orchestral detail. The opening of the Andante was wistfully phrased by New with eloquent strings and Kolesnikov’s playing was easeful and unaffected." "Gemma New had the measure of the piece and seemed in control, as she did throughout the evening. It was an impressive debut.”