New conducts program including U.S. premiere of
Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Solastalgia (Piccolo Concerto), co-commissioned piece featuring SLSO piccolo Ann Choomack, March 23 - 25

(St. Louis, March 14, 2018)
– Resident Conductor Gemma New will make her subscription season debut leading the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra March 23 – 25 in concerts that include the U.S. premiere of a work by Erkki-Sven Tüür. Tüür’s Solastalgia (Piccolo Concerto) was a co-commission by the SLSO with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic.  Incoming SLSO Music Director Stéphane Denève conducted the world premiere of the work this past December with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. These SLSO performances feature SLSO piccolo Ann Choomack, who has been with orchestra since 2013.

Gemma New joined the SLSO as Resident Conductor in 2016.  She also serves as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. Since joining the SLSO, she has conducted the Mercy Holiday Celebration concerts, led the SLSO last September at the Forest Park concert, conducted the orchestra’s live performance of Jurassic Park as part of the SLSO’s Live at Powell Hall series, and also led a number of the SLSO’s education concerts.

New’s debut concerts also include Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol, as well as Rautavaara’s Cantus articus: Concerto for Birds and Orchestra. Cantus articus, one of the Finnish composer’s most famous works, incorporates recordings of birdsong from the Arctic Circle and on the marshlands of Liminka in northern Finland with instrumental resonances that deliberately mimic the sound of Arctic birds. This piece was performed once before by the SLSO in January 2001, with Hans Vonk conducting. The program concludes with Respighi Pines of Rome, last performed by the SLSO and Music Director David Robertson in 2012.

Next season, New will open the 2018/2019 classical season with a program of works by Sibelius, Grieg, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Elgar (September 22-23). Next spring, she will conduct works by Mozart, Strauss, and Thomas Adès (April 5-7, 2019). She also will lead the orchestra’s annual Forest Park concert in September for the second year in a row.

This performance is part of the 2017/2018 SLSO Classical Season, which is sponsored by the Centene Charitable Foundation, the Steward Family Foundation, and World Wide Technology.


Friday, March 23, 2018, 10:30am

Saturday, March 24, 2018, 8:00pm

Sunday, March 25, 2018, 3:00pm

Gemma New, conductor
Ann Choomack, piccolo

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio espagnol
RAUTAVAARA Cantus arcticus: Concerto for Birds and Orchestra
TÜÜR Solastalgia for Piccolo Flute and Orchestra
RESPIGHI Pines of Rome


Gemma New
Sought after for her insightful interpretations and dynamic presence, New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New was appointed the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's Resident Conductor and Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra for the 2016/2017 Season. She also holds the position of Music Director for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Ontario, Canada, and has enjoyed guest engagements with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester, Filharmonia Szczecin and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne in Europe, the Omaha, Albany and Berkeley Symphonies in the United States, and the Auckland Philharmonia and Christchurch Symphony in New Zealand.

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 joined 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 moved the SLSO 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, San Diego, Grant Park, Toledo, Orlando and Long Beach Symphonies in the United States, as well as the Christchurch Symphony and Opus Orchestras in New Zealand.

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 (Honors) in violin performance.


St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as one of the today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world’s finest. Now in its 138th season, the orchestra is committed to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connection – all in service to its mission of enriching people’s lives through the power of music.

In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, which marks its 50th anniversary as home of the SLSO this season, the orchestra is an integral part of the diverse and vibrant St. Louis community, presenting hundreds of free education programs and performances throughout the region each year. The Grammy Award–winning SLSO’s impact beyond the St. Louis region is realized through weekly Saturday night concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, celebrated recordings, and regular touring activity.

American conductor David Robertson is the 12th music director in the orchestra’s history and has solidified the SLSO’s standing as one of the nation’s most vital and innovative ensembles. The current SLSO season honors the legacy of Music Director David Robertson, whose remarkable 13-year tenure will conclude at the close of the season in May.

Today, the SLSO builds on the institution’s current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with Stéphane Denève. Denève, who has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003, begins his tenure as Music Director with the 19/20 season, following next season as Music Director Designate.