Gemma New to make her debut with special appearance by Leonard Slatkin

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra is set to begin a new era under the direction of Music Director Gemma New on November 11, 2016. In her debut with the Youth Orchestra, New will conduct 100 of the bi-state areas most advanced young musicians in a concert featuring the music of Beethoven, Copland and Grieg.

The opening concert of the season will also feature a special appearance by St. Louis Symphony Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin. Slatkin founded the Youth Orchestra in 1970 and served as St. Louis Symphony Music Director for nearly two decades. He will conduct Prelude to Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg by Wagner.

“I am very much looking forward to our first program together, which focusses on heroic themes, while exploring several contrasting styles of orchestral music,” New said.

Slatkin’s dynamic presence will reveal the storied history of the Youth Orchestra, while New’s insightful interpretations will reveal its promising future. “I am excited about the opportunity for our young musicians to work with the distinguished conductor,” New said.

The STL Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians are between the ages of 12 and 22. The musicians present three free* concerts each season at Powell Hall. The Youth Orchestra’s mission is to develop young musicians into confident mature members of their communities.

About Gemma New:

The New Zealand-born conductor, was recently appointed the St. Louis Symphony’s Resident Conductor and Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. She also holds the position of Music Director for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Ontario, Canada, while maintaining a close relationship with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio. New will have guest engagements this season with the Malmö SymfoniOrkester in Malmö, Sweden, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in Winnipeg, Canada.

In St. Louis New leads education, family, community, and Live at Powell Hall performances, covers for Music Director David Robertson and guest conductors, and leads the Youth Orchestra. Robertson said of her appointment, "I’m very happy that Gemma New will be joining us in St. Louis. She stood out as a musician of great insight when we worked together a few years ago at Carnegie Hall. From the first moment in our audition, New opened a clear line of deep communication with our musicians, who responded to her clarity and passion. Her dedication to music education will be a true gift to the organization and the St. Louis community.”

New moves to the St. Louis Symphony from her successful time with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as its Associate Conductor. In recent seasons, New has guest conducted several orchestras, including the Atlanta, Toledo, Long Beach, and Miami Symphonies in the U.S., as well as the Christchurch Symphony and Opus Orchestras in New Zealand. Gemma New holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute, where she studied with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar. She graduated from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance.

STL Symphony Youth Orchestra Concert #1

Friday, November 11, 8:00pm

Gemma New, conductor
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man
GRIEG Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
WAGNER Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3, “Eroica"

* Sponsored by Whole Foods Market
Supported in part by the G.A., Jr. and Kathryn M. Buder Charitable Foundation and the ESCO Technologies Foundation

*$1 per ticket service fee