Image by: Anthony Chang

Star Kiwi Conductor Tours With NZSO

Clare Martin

Star New Zealand conductor Gemma New will lead the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for the first time with concerts in Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland in August and September.

Hailed as “one of the brightest rising stars in the conducting firmament” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, New has taken North America by storm. She is Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Canada.


Gemma New (Image supplied)

New’s 2020 engagements with the NZSO were announced last year and the Orchestra is delighted to bring the conductor home for her NZSO debut and to enable her to work with other New Zealand orchestras.

New’s concert tour Passion in association with InterContinental Hotels Group, features New Zealand composer Robin Toan’s Tū-mata-uenga God of War, Spirit of Man, NZSO Section Principal Cellist Andrew Joyce performing Elgar’s famous Cello Concerto, and Tchaikovsky’s timeless Symphony No. 6 Pathétique.

Andrew Joyce GE9506 WEB

Andrew Joyce (image supplied)

In addition to Passion, New will conduct the NZSO Shed Series concerts Cadence in Wellington and Auckland. Featuring works from the 18th , 19th and 20th centuries by Brahms, Mozart, StravinskySchulhoff and acclaimed New Zealand composer Maria Grenfell, Cadence will be performed at Wellington’s Shed 6 and for the first time in Auckland at Rangatira Q Theatre.

There's a joyful abundance of dancing in this Cadence programme. Most of these pieces are obviously dances, as they have them written in the title,” says New.

But there is one delicious secret – Erwin Schulhoff's Suite for Chamber Orchestra. In this piece, you hear the confident voice of a young musical prodigy who had the support of fellow Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. You hear the darkness of his horrific experiences fighting in the First World War. There's his fondness for 1920s nightclub dancing – ragtime, Boston waltz, tango, shimmy and step – plus the absurd tongue-in-cheek of Dadaism that was in full swing at the time.”

Tickets to Passion and Cadence are available via Stall tickets to Passion in Wellington and Auckland are $30.

A livestream of the Wellington Passion concert can be viewed for free at

NZSO web banners 27

Image supplied

Written By: Clare Martin Clare has performed as an opera, recital and oratorio artist in UK most notably the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London. In NZ she has performed with NZ Opera and with the NZ Symphony Orchestra but more recently she has moved into a wider range of contemporary genres including jazz and even Leonard Cohen. Since 2008 Clare has been teaching from her own music studio working with professional and beginner singers. In 2017 she was a mentor on TVNZ’s The Naked Choir working with a cappella choirs and she currently coaches barbershop and a woman’s ensemble.