Gemma New receives Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

Evanston, IL – The Solti Foundation U.S. revealed today the twelfth recipient of the organization’s major grant, The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. Given annually to a single promising American conductor 38 years of age or younger, The Sir Georg Solti Fellow, as it is also called, provides career guidance, industry connections, and a cash purse of $30,000 to allow grant recipients to further hone their skills.
Announced by Foundation Board Chair Penny Van Horn and Elizabeth Buccheri, Artistic and Awards Committee Chair from their respective homes, the grant continues to help up-and-coming leaders of tomorrow.
For over two decades, the Foundation has diligently helped American conductors in the early stages of their careers. A recipient of The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award may use the financial portion of the grant in various ways to specifically advance his/her career, whether it be further studies, language study, purchases of scores, or travel. The Foundation’s Board of Directors comprises experts from all areas of the classical music industry, and therefore the Award also brings door-opening introductions within the industry and valuable access to professional mentors.
Ms. Van Horn stated, “The unanticipated challenges created by the pandemic have affected everyone worldwide. It has been difficult for the arts industry and especially for our young musicians. The Solti Foundation U.S. is honored to be able to continue its work and to support young conductors during this time. We look forward to returning to concert halls, opera houses and theaters enjoying live music and performances. Our mission is to identify, support and promote emerging conductors as they launch their classical careers. In doing so they continue to have the opportunity to demonstrate their musicianship, leadership, and full potential to the best possible audience.
“It is my pleasure to announce Gemma New as the 2021 recipient of The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. We have observed Gemma for several years and have been impressed with her growth and development. Congratulations Gemma! We will be excited to see where your obvious talent takes you.”
Ms. Buccheri added, “With these young conducting applicants, we first look for skills on the podium. We then look for passion and the ability to communicate through the music. These are just some of the qualities that Sir Georg exhibited throughout his long career. Gemma New is a wonderful example of Solti’s belief in the power of music, and it has been a joy to watch her grow in musical depth and presence over the past several seasons since she first became a recipient of a Foundation Career Assistance Award. Congratulations Gemma.”

About Gemma New

Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand born conductor Gemma New is forging an international career. Engagements this 2020 –21 season include debuts with the Seattle Symphony and New Zealand Symphony and a return to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. This week, she makes her debut in Spain with the Basque National Orchestra. Among the numerous orchestras she has guested with nationally are the symphony orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, National, San Francisco, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, San Diego Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic (on a Young People’s Concert). International guesting appearances include the Helsinki Philharmonic, Malmö Symfoniorkester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Ulster Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and the Calgary Philharmonic. New recently completed a four-year tenure as Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. A former Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she previously served as Associate Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony. Her numerous honors and awards include 2017, 2019 and 2020 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards, a 2018 Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, and a David Karetsky Conducting Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival. Gemma New holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute in Maryland and graduated with honors from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance.

For further details on The Solti Foundation U.S., its past awardees, their biographical information, the Foundation’s newsletter, as well as guidelines for the upcoming 2022 Awards and a downloadable application form, please visit the Foundation’s website at:


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