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Gemma New

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra resident conductor Gemma New. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat

Gemma New, resident conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and music director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra (among other posts), is among the Solti Foundation's 2019 recipients of the Young Conductors Career Assistance Awards.

The 32-year-old New, who has made a strong and entirely positive impression since joining the SLSO in 2016, is one of 10 talented young American conductors (and one of two women) in the early stages of their professional careers to receive one of the grants this year. The grants, which vary in value (the specific numbers are not released), have been presented annually since 2000, to honor the memory of conductor Sir Georg Solti. The recipients must have demonstrated that they're working toward careers in the symphonic and operatic fields.

The Class of 2019 includes first time recipients as well as previous grantees. The New Zealand-born New was given a grant in 2017 as well as this year; a former Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she previously served as associate conductor of the New Jersey Symphony, and had conducting fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival, Salzburg Festival and Tanglewood.

She's already conducted an impressive number of orchestras around the world. New earned a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute, and graduated from University of Canterbury in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance.

Here's the complete list of 2019 Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award recipients:

• Conner Gray Covington, Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony

• Aram Demirjian, Music Director of Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

• Joshua Hong, Music Director of the Campanile Orchestra

• Stilian Kirov, Music Director of the Bakersfield Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic and the New Jersey Symphony in C

• Benjamin Manis, Resident Conductor of the Houston Grand Opera

• Lee Mills, Resident Conductor of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony

• Gemma New, Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Resident Conductor of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

• Stefano Sarzani, Former Associate Conductor of the Des Moines Metro Opera

• Stephanie Rhodes Russell, Associate Conductor of the Grand Teton Music Festival

• Kensho Watanabe, Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra

Sarah Bryan Miller is the classical music critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; she has also written on a variety of other topics.