It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2015-16 Season! The HPO has been very busy preparing a stunning array of concerts and guest artists, and there is much to look forward to: Daniel Lipton returns for An Evening at the Opera, James Sommerville has crafted a program of Music in Remembrance, and Janina Fialkowska and Canadian Brass return as celebrated Canadian artists. It’s Mozart mania as we celebrate the genius of this great composer in November through the Mozart Festival. I am looking forward to my premiere as Music Director in February, when we perform invigorating Russian works as well as a thunderous work by Canadian composer Kelly Marie Murphy. As we come closer to the concert, through this HPO blog and by other means, we plan to explore the composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his First Symphony.

I’d like to acknowledge the phenomenal leadership of former Music Director James Sommerville, for having built the HPO into such a musically strong orchestra, and a team of highly skilled and dedicated musicians. The HPO players continue to be fully invested in providing excellent music performance and education to the Greater Hamilton Area, providing additional chamber music programs and teaching young aspiring musicians. For this reason, I am looking forward to setting up ‘Musician’s Choice’ where HPO Musicians will vote upon three pieces to be performed in upcoming seasons. Full programs will be crafted around these works, and we will let the audience know what the HPO musicians have chosen.

Thanks to the hard work of Jamie and the HPO musicians, Executive Director Carol Kehoe, the staff and the Board, as well as HPO volunteers and sponsors, Hamilton can be proud to have a vibrant and inspiring orchestra to contribute to the community. The constructive communication between all sectors of the orchestra makes this a healthy environment to create high quality music and innovative programs. This 2015-16 Season, HPO starts a new collaboration with Dundas, builds upon their burgeoning relationship with the local Indie scene and brings the recently premiered multimedia music of Chris Theofanidis to younger audiences through an exciting family concert experience.

Hamilton has been on my mind since I first visited in April 2013, when we performed The Sixth Symphony of Beethoven, alongside HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s A Canadian in Paris and Saint-Saens Third Violin Concerto with soloist Hamilton’s very own Martin Beaver. I want to thank all of you who attended the performance, and for those of you who have welcomed me into the fold. Every year it is evident that the HPO is growing, changing, building upon a strong foundation. I am so thrilled to be joining the HPO team as Music Director, and look forward to enjoying many memorable musical moments with you all.

– Gemma New