Gemma New’s surprise podium debut at Grant Park Music Festival

Posted on: July 20, 2017

“There were to have been two Grant Park Music Festival debuts on the weekend, and though they occurred, they were not the two originally scheduled,” writes Alan Artner in Sunday’s (7/16) Chicago Tribune. “After a single rehearsal here, a family emergency recalled veteran conductor Simone Young to her native Australia. Gemma New, music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Canada and resident conductor of the St. Louis Symphony, had come to Chicago to meet Young and sat in on her rehearsal. After Young’s departure, Grant Park engaged New, who bravely took over Young’s program and the two remaining rehearsals, one of which was with pianist Andrew Tyson, also appearing for the first time…. New, a recent recipient of a Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award, proved an enlivening podium presence. Matthew Hindson’s ‘Headbanger,’ a six-minute entertainment that opened the program, had both clarity and rhythmic incisiveness. New and Tyson’s collaboration in Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto surprised with gentleness, even elegance. And Richard Strauss’ ‘Symphonia Domestica’ proceeded with more affection than showy virtuosity, always an achievement. [In the Strauss], she elicited wind and string playing of some beauty, at times uniting them in a passionate sweep.”

Posted July 20, 2017