Release Date: January 18, 2016


Hamilton, ON – Join the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) in welcoming their new music director to the podium in Gemma New Conducts on Saturday, February 6 at 7:30pm at FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place).

“I am very excited to be coming to Hamilton as music director,” New says. “I was so impressed with the orchestra and all the people I met during my audition.” HPO musician spokesperson Marsha Moffitt says they are “thrilled to be working with Gemma New, who is known around the world as a rising star. Working alongside our orchestra, we’re confident we’ll achieve new heights.”

In her premiere as Music Director of the HPO, New conducts a concert of epic Russian works from the 20th century. The evening begins with an earth-shattering piece A Thousand Natural Shocks by Kelly-Marie Murphy, a Canadian making waves with her powerful compositional voice. Originally written for Maestro Bramwell Tovey’s first concert as Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony, this piece is all about the challenges and rewards of starting a new partnership.

The HPO welcomes Canada’s star piano soloist Katherine Chi to the stage for Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto. One of the most popular piano concertos of the last century, Prokofiev’s Third is also one of the most difficult, demanding tremendous stamina from any virtuoso who dares to play it.

The evening comes to an end with a masterful symphony, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, written when he was only 18 years old for his graduation assignment. Garnering praise worldwide, this single piece thrust Shostakovich into the limelight that subsequently gave him a life of profound opportunities as well as terrifying restrictions imposed by the Soviet rule.

New shares, “The music of Shostakovich and Prokofiev was regularly performed in New Zealand when I was growing up, the potent, restless and quirky nature of this music being quite relatable with young teenagers. Whether or not this music is a familiar with your household, I hope you will join us on February 6, to explore and enjoy this great repertoire through our pre-concert chat and live performance.”

Gemma New, 29, is also Associate Conductor at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and founder/director of the Lunar Ensemble, a new music collective based in Baltimore, Maryland. In the 2014-15 Season she was the recipient of the prestigious Dudamel Fellowship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and led eight education concerts in Los Angeles in spring 2015.

Don’t miss this highly anticipated performance as Gemma New takes the stage in her premiere as HPO Music Director.


Ticket Information
Single tickets
for Gemma New Conducts are $23 to $67 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and are available online at, by calling 905.526.7756 or in person at the HPO Box Office in FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) at 10 MacNab Street South or FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) Box Office the evening of the concert.

Special hpoGO tickets for the under 35 crowd are $17 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person.  To receive special discounts and invitations to special events, under 35 patrons can sign up online at

HPO at the Library
In partnership with the Hamilton Public Library, this FREE program features HPO musicians and guest artists in an intimate community setting.

Friday, February 5, 12:45pm
Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library (55 York Blvd.)


Media Contact:
Diana Weir, Director of Communications and Development | Tel: 905.526.1677 x230 | Email:

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community.