Hamilton Philharmonic Orch. – “NEW” & improved Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Just over a year ago, the H. P. O. began auditioning for a replacement artistic director/conductor. Like all those companies that market kitchen and laundry detergent, they wanted to announce something ‘New and Improved’. The first candidate was a young woman from down-under and according to this scribe; the evening was “A melodic banquet”. The major selection – a personal Beethoven favorite and the guest conductor was maestra Gemma New.

conductor NEW & editor TERRY

conductor NEW & editor TERRY

Her post-concert responses to my queries about tempi and accentuation were rational and erudite. Her motivation for sectional emphasizing was to illustrate the various moods that make Beethoven’s 6th Symphony – ‘The Pastorale’ a composition so depictive & emblematic of mood and atmosphere. All were knowledgeable and cogent answers.
My summation of the concert; ‘If she is the epitome of the standard we can expect from auditioning conductors, selection will be difficult” (O.A.R. Apr. 27,’14).
Naturally, cognizance of having to script a critical column after each symphony concert means that some research is mandated. Full attention to the orchestra and familiarity with the works are essential. So, I probably am as focused and concentrated as most of the musicians themselves. I prejudged the aspirants and ‘crossed fingers’ for three…one of those is to be our new conductor!


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