Transcript: Conducting the Hamilton Philharmonic | Dec 22, 2016

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped gray and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Madam conductor. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says QUICK, NAME ONE WOMAN
WHO'S MADE HER NAME CONDUCTING A
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
OKAY, TAKE YOUR TIME.
WELL, MAYBE IT'S NOT COMING TO
MIND BECAUSE, LIKE THE AMERICAN
PRESIDENCY, CONDUCTING A
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IS ONE OF
THOSE GLASS CEILINGS THAT'S
APPARENTLY VERY HARD TO BREAK.
BUT GEMMA NEW HAS BROKEN
IT.
SHE'S THE MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE
HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
AND SHE JOINS US NOW.

Gemma is in her thirties, with long straight blond hair. She's wearing a lilac blazer over a red shirt.

Steve continues IT'S GREAT TO MEET YOU.

Gemma says GREAT TO MEET
YOU TOO, STEVE.

Steve says THANK YOU FOR MAKING
THE DRIVE IN ALL THE WAY FROM
THE AMBITIOUS CITY TO BE HERE
TODAY.
CAN WE JUST START, LET'S JUST
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR
BACKGROUND.
YOUR EARLIEST CONNECTION WITH
MUSIC; DO YOU REMEMBER IT?

The caption changes to "Gemma New. Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra."
Then, it changes again to "In the beginning..."

Gemma says OOH, THAT'S A
HARD QUESTION.
I MEAN, MUSIC'S BEEN MY LIFE.
MY FAMILY AREN'T MUSICIANS
PROFESSIONALLY, BUT I ALWAYS HAD
MUSIC AROUND IN THE HOUSE.
AND MY MOM PLAYED THE VIOLIN.
SHE ENCOURAGED ME TO PLAY THE
VIOLIN TOO.
SO I STARTED WHEN I WAS 5.

Steve says YOU STARTED PLAYING
THE VIOLIN AT 5.

Gemma says YES.

Steve says THAT SORT OF
ANTICIPATES MY NEXT QUESTION
BECAUSE NO 5-YEAR-OLD GIRL GROWS
UP SAYING I'M GOING TO BE A
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR.
SO YOU TOOK VIOLIN FOR HOW LONG?

Gemma says OH, GOSH.
A VERY LONG TIME AND I STARTED
PLAYING PIANO AND SINGING IN
CHOIRS.
THE VIOLIN REALLY STUCK BECAUSE
I COULD PLAY THAT WITH MY
FRIENDS.
AND I STARTED PLAYING IN YOUTH
ORCHESTRAS AND ABSOLUTELY LOVED
TO BE A PART OF THAT REALLY
LARGE SOUND WITH ALL OF MY
PEERS, AND THEN I STARTED
WATCHING THE CONDUCTOR AND
THINKING, WHAT AN INTERESTING
JOB THAT WAS.
WE HAD SEVERAL DIFFERENT
CONDUCTORS.

Steve says THIS IS YOU GROWING
UP IN NEW ZEALAND?

Gemma says YES.
AND I COULD SEE HOW THEY WERE
MAKING THE YOUTH ORCHESTRA
PLAYING DIFFERENTLY JUST BY WHAT
YOU WERE DOING INDIVIDUALLY.
AND THEN I GOT THE OPPORTUNITY
AT 15 TO CONDUCT AND FROM THE
VERY FIRST GET-GO, I THOUGHT,
THIS IS IT.
THIS IS MY MUSICAL VOICE THAT I
CAN BEST EXPRESS THAT WITH.

Steve says AT 15 YOU KNEW THAT?

Gemma says I KNEW THAT.

Steve says WHAT WAS THE
CIRCUMSTANCE?
TELL ME MORE ABOUT IT.

The caption changes to "Gemma New, @gemmanewmusic."

Gemma says I WAS AT HIGH
SCHOOL AND THE TEACHER WAS
LEAVING, OUR MUSIC TEACHER, SO
WE WANTED TO GIVE HER A GOOD-BYE
GIFT.
IN ASSEMBLY WE PREPARED SOME
BACH FOR HER TO ENJOY.

Steve says AND DID SHE?

Gemma says OH, YES, I THINK
SHE DID.
IT WAS VERY NICE.

Steve says AND CLEARLY YOU DID.

Gemma says YES, ABSOLUTELY.
AND I WAS TRYING MY BEST AND I
THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, WITH A
CONDUCTOR, IT'S ALL ABOUT
COMMUNICATION, IT'S ABOUT
UNDERSTANDING DEEPLY THE MUSIC
AND BE ABLE TO EXPRESS THAT AND
HAVING LEADERSHIP SKILLS, AND I
JUST KNEW THAT IT FELT VERY
NATURAL AND I COULD WORK ON IT
AND BECOME A CONDUCTOR.

Steve says DO YOU STILL PLAY
THE VIOLIN?

Gemma says I DON'T ANYMORE.
I STOPPED MAYBE TWO YEARS AGO
JUST BECAUSE I GOT TOO BUSY, I
WAS TRAVELLING TOO MUCH, AND
REALLY FOR ME, I WANTED TO BE A
CONDUCTOR EVER SINCE I WAS VERY
YOUNG.
THEY TOLD ME THAT I HAD TO PLAY
THE VIOLIN, LEARN AN INSTRUMENT
VERY WELL, AND I TOTALLY AGREE
WITH THAT.
I LOVED IT.
BUT CONDUCTING IS MY THING.

Steve says YOU PRESUMABLY AT
SOME POINT IN YOUR CAREER,
THOUGH, BOTH CONDUCTED AND
PLAYED THE VIOLIN AT THE SAME
TIME IN THE SAME CONCERT.
YES?

Gemma says YEAH.

Steve says I MEAN, THAT'S
QUITE... I'VE SEEN ZUKERMAN DO
IT.
IT'S QUITE AN INCREDIBLE THING
TO SEE.

Gemma says THEY'RE AMAZING
MUSICIANS, ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says THEY'RE NOT BAD.
HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY DO THAT AT
THE SAME TIME?

Gemma says WELL, I THINK
THE CONCERT-MASTER POSITION IS
WHAT LED ME TO START CONDUCTING
BECAUSE THAT IS THE LEADERSHIP
ROLE IN THE ORCHESTRA.
AND JUST WITH THE BOW, THE WAY
YOU DRAW THE BOW AND GIVE PEOPLE
GESTURES TO START THE MUSIC,
THAT'S REALLY WHAT A CONDUCTOR
DOES, JUST WITHOUT THE VIOLIN.

Steve says DON'T YOU HAVE TO BE
SO MUCH MORE IN YOUR OWN HEAD
AND AWARE OF YOUR OWN... I MEAN,
PLAYING YOUR OWN INSTRUMENT AND
THEN SUDDENLY YOU HAVE TO STOP
DOING THAT AND WORRY ABOUT WHAT
EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IN THE
NEXT SECOND.
I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU GET YOUR
HEAD AROUND THAT.
BUT YOU DO, I GUESS?

Gemma says YES.
YOU JUST DO IT.

Steve says YOU JUST DO IT.
WHO WERE YOUR FAVOURITE
CONDUCTORS GROWING UP.

Gemma says I LOVED TWO.

Steve says WHERE WERE THEY
FROM?

Gemma says ENGLAND AND
HOLLAND.
I READ BOOKS ABOUT THEM AND I
WATCHED THEM ON YouTube AND,
YOU KNOW, VIDEOS AND LISTENED TO
THEIR RECORDINGS AND SIMON
RIESEL WAS SUCH A WONDERFUL
HUMAN BEING AND A GREAT LEADER,
ENERGIZER OF MUSIC, AND WHEN HE
WAS YOUNG, HE HAD OVER 100
PEOPLE TO DO MAHLER II, AND IT
INSPIRED ME TO GATHER MY
FRIENDS.

Steve says DID YOU EVER GET TO
MEET EITHER OF THEM?

Gemma says I'VE MET SIMON
REICHEL AND BERNARD AS WELL.

Steve says THEY NOW KNOW WHAT
YOU DO?

Gemma says WELL, I THINK
THEY MEET A LOT OF PEOPLE.
BUT IT WAS REALLY GREAT TO MEET
THEM.

Steve says AND WHAT WAS IT
ABOUT... CAN YOU SORT OF
DESCRIBE... WELL, ACTUALLY,
BEFORE I ASK THAT, I NOTICE
THERE ARE NO WOMEN ON THAT LIST
OF WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE
CONDUCTORS, AND I PRESUME THAT'S
BECAUSE THERE WEREN'T ANY WHEN
YOU WERE GROWING UP OR GOING
THROUGH YOUR FORMATIVE MUSICAL
YEARS.

The caption changes to "Stepping onto the continent."

Gemma says I GUESS SO.
YEAH, YOU'RE RIGHT.
ALTHOUGH I HAVE TO SAY, MY MUSIC
TEACHER WHO WAS LEAVING WAS A
WOMAN AND, YOU KNOW, SHE
CONDUCTED THE ORCHESTRA.
SO I THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF
CONDUCTORS IN THE SCHOOL AREA,
AND THEN WE HAVE A GREAT
CONDUCTOR, KAREN GROVES, WHO
DOES THE CHOIR IN NEW ZEALAND, A
NATIONAL CHOIR.

Steve says LET'S PICK UP THE
STORY.
FROM NEW ZEALAND, YOU GROW UP IN
NEW ZEALAND.
I GUESS YOU WENT TO BALTIMORE
FIRST FOR YOUR MASTER'S?

Gemma says YES.

Steve says AND DID THAT BRING
YOU TO NORTH AMERICA FOR GOOD
WHEN YOU CAME OVER TO BALTIMORE?

Gemma says YES.

Steve says SOMETHING HAPPENED
THERE AND YOU DECIDED, OKAY, I'M
STAYING HERE?

Gemma says I THINK SO.
THERE'S JUST SO MANY GREAT
ORCHESTRAS HERE, SO MUCH MUSIC
THAT I CAN WORK A LOT HERE.
I'VE JUST NEVER LOOKED BACK.

Steve says I'VE CHECKED YOUR
Résumé OUT.

Gemma says OKAY.

Steve says YOU HAVE GOT OR HAD
PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH
THE ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY
ORCHESTRA, THE NEW JERSEY
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, THE CHAMBER
ORCHESTRA OF SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS,
THE ORLANDO PHILHARMONIC
ORCHESTRA.
SO I'M WONDERING... AND
REMEMBER, YOU'RE TALKING TO A
GUY BORN AND RAISED IN HAMILTON,
ONTARIO, CANADA HERE.
BUT I AM WONDERING: SO WHAT ARE
YOU DOING HEADING UP THE
HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA?

Gemma says OH, MY GOSH, ARE
YOU KIDDING?
THIS IS A DREAM JOB FOR ME.
ABSOLUTELY.
AND IT IS A FANTASTIC LEVEL OF
PLAYING THAT THEY PRESENT.
THE PLAYERS ARE EXCEPTIONAL
QUALITY AND THEY'RE VERY MUCH
DEDICATED AND FOCUSED AND
ENGAGED WITH THE ORCHESTRA
PLAYING AND ALSO PLAYING AT
SCHOOLS AND THE HOSPITALS IN THE
AREA AND I'M JUST... I'M SO
THRILLED TO BE A PART OF IT.

Steve says I'M NOT MEANING TO
SOUND SKEPTICAL HERE, BUT TO ME,
LIKE A DREAM JOB IS THE NEW YORK
PHIL OR THE LONDON SYMPHONY OR
CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA OR THE
TORONTO SYMPHONY.
NOT NECESSARILY... YOU DON'T
GROW UP IN WELLINGTON, NEW
ZEALAND, SAYING I WANT TO BE THE
CONDUCTOR OF THE HAMILTON
PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA ONE DAY.

Gemma says THAT'S A GOOD
POINT.

Steve says LET ME PUSH BACK A
BIT AND TELL ME WHAT YOU MEAN.

The caption changes to "Leading the way."

Gemma says YOU HAVE TO FIND
THE RIGHT FIT.
FOR ME, I WAS LOOKING FOR A
COLLABORATIVE ORCHESTRA, ONE
THAT SOUNDED BEAUTIFUL AND ONE
THAT WE COULD GROW TOGETHER.
BUT I COULD VERY MUCH ENJOY THE
WORK, AND WHEN I CAME TO THE
HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC FOR THE
FIRST TIME, THEY INSPIRED ME
WITH THEIR MUSIC.
I THOUGHT IT SOUNDED BEAUTIFUL.
I WAS MOVED BY IT.
AND THEN I GOT TO KNOW THE
ORCHESTRA, THE PLAYERS, HOW
ENGAGED THEY WERE, HOW MUCH THEY
PUT INTO THE ORCHESTRA.
A LOT OF ORCHESTRAS... MAYBE NOT
THE ONES YOU'RE NAMING, BUT
OTHER ORCHESTRAS, THE MUSICIANS
AREN'T AS ENGAGED.
THEY PLAY AND THEN THEY LEAVE.
THESE ONES HAVE VERY POSITIVE
ATTITUDES AND THEY WANT TO BE
INVOLVED, AND FOR ME, THAT SEEMS
LIKE A PERFECT FIT FOR AN
ORCHESTRA THAT I'M LOOKING AT.

Steve says HOW DID YOU GET THE
JOB?

Gemma says I DID AN
AUDITION.
THAT MEANT I CAME AND GUEST
CONDUCTED A CONCERT, AND WE DID
BEETHOVEN AND I WORKED ON...

Steve says I KNOW HIM.
WE WENT TO THE SAME SCHOOL,
MARTIN BEAVER AND I.
WE DID.

Gemma says HE'S A REAL
GENIUS.
THE ORCHESTRA GOT A VOTE AND
ALSO I WAS PUT IN A ROOM WITH A
ROUND TABLE, LIKE KNIGHTS OF THE
ROUND TABLE, AND PUT AT THE...
WELL, ONE END OF IT, AND ASKED
QUESTIONS FOR 3 HOURS.

Steve says BY WHOM?

Gemma says THE PANEL.

Steve says OBVIOUSLY YOU
PASSED.

Gemma says YEAH.
IT WAS VERY GOOD.

Steve says I'VE GOT TO ASK YOU.
HOW OLD ARE YOU?

Gemma says I'M 29.

Steve says YOU'RE 29 AND
CONDUCTING A MAJOR CANADIAN
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.

Gemma says YEAH.

Steve says THAT'S PRETTY
AMAZING.
GOOD FOR YOU.
DO THEY MAKE ONE OF YOUR ACCENT?

Gemma says NO, THEY'RE VERY
POLITE ABOUT IT.
REMEMBER, WE'RE IN CANADA.

Steve says I SUSPECT IT'S
DIFFERENT FOR EVERY ORCHESTRA,
BUT I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN
WHAT THE MUSICAL
DIRECTOR-CONDUCTOR DOES ON THE
JOB, AND IN THAT CHAIR ONCE UPON
A TIME, IT WASN'T TOO MANY YEARS
AGO, WE HAD THE CONDUCTOR OF THE
TORONTO SYMPHONY, AND HERE'S HOW
HE DESCRIBED WHAT HE DOES AND
LET'S COMPARE AND CONTRAST,
OKAY?
ROLL IT, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Peter Oundjian. December 16, 2013."
In the clip, Peter talks with Steve in the studio. Peter is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short curly gray hair.

He says ACTUALLY IT'S QUITE
COLLABORATIVE.
I MEAN, I OBVIOUSLY COME UP WITH
A LOT OF CONCEPTS, BUT WE WORK
WITH A LARGE TEAM.
WE HAVE A FANTASTIC ARTISTIC
TEAM AND WE HAVE SEVERAL
MUSICIANS FROM THE ORCHESTRA WHO
ARE INVOLVED AND HAVE MEETINGS
EVERY FEW WEEKS AND OTHER
MEMBERS OF STAFF, SO THE
FINANCIAL PEOPLE, OF COURSE, ARE
SITTING THERE SAYING, WAIT A
MINUTE.
HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO
HAVE THAT EXPENSIVE ARTIST?
HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO
USE A HUGE CHORUS OR WHATEVER IT
HAPPENS TO BE, AND OF COURSE WE
HAVE THE MARKETING PEOPLE WHO
ARE RESPONSIBLE ULTIMATELY FOR
PUTTING TOGETHER THE PROGRAM,
THE BROCHURE, AND MAKING IT LOOK
BALANCED AND WONDERFUL.

Steve says THEY PROBABLY ASK:
CAN I SELL THIS?

Peter says ABSOLUTELY.
AS THEY SHOULD.
YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO BE
RESPONSIBLE.

The clip ends.

Steve says THAT'S HOW THE
TORONTO SYMPHONY HAS DONE IT
UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP FOR THE
PAST DECADE AND MORE.
HOW ABOUT UNDER YOU?
HOW DO THEY DO IT IN HAMILTON?

Gemma says I THINK IT'S
QUITE SIMILAR.
I WAS ALREADY TALKING TO YOU
ABOUT THE COLLABORATIVE
APPROACH.
I WOULD SAY, THOUGH, HE WAS
TALKING ABOUT THE ORCHESTRA AS A
WHOLE.
YOU'RE ASKING ABOUT THE MUSIC
DIRECTOR AND WHAT THE CONDUCTOR
DOES.
I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO LEAD THE
ARTISTIC VISION OF THE
ORCHESTRA.
THERE'S THE MUSICIAN SIDE AND
THEN THERE'S MANAGEMENT SIDE.
WE OBVIOUSLY MAKE A WHOLE.
BUT FOR THE ARTISTS, WE HAVE TO
DIRECT WHAT PROGRAMMING VISION
WE HAVE, WHAT MUSIC DO WE WANT
TO PRESENT, HOW ARE WE GOING TO
GROW THE ORCHESTRA'S EXCELLENCE
YEAR BY YEAR, AND WE ALSO HAVE
TO LOOK AT WHAT ARE OUR
PRIORITIES IN TERMS OF CONCERTS
THAT WE'RE TARGETING... I DON'T
WANT TO SAY TARGETING... BUT
WE'RE SERVING, WHICH AUDIENCES
ARE WE SERVING FOR EACH ONE AND
WHAT IS OUR PRIORITY.

Steve says DO YOU TAKE
SUGGESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE
ORCHESTRA IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY
WANT TO PLAY DURING A PROGRAM?

Gemma says ACTUALLY, THAT'S
SOMETHING I'VE INSTIGATED WHILE
I'VE STARTED ON HERE.
SO WE HAVE A PLAYERS' CHOICE
PROGRAM WHERE THEY GIVE
SUGGESTIONS AND THEN I'LL MAKE
SURE THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO OR
THREE PIECES IN THE SEASON THAT
THEY'VE CHOSEN THEMSELVES.

Steve says HMM.
DOES THAT GO OVER OKAY WITH THE
TROOPS?

Gemma says THEY LOVE IT.

Steve says THEY LOVE IT.
YOU DESCRIBE THE ORCHESTRA...
YOU OBVIOUSLY WANTED TO GET
BETTER UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP.
WHAT ARE THE BENCH MARKS THAT
SOMEONE IN YOUR POSITION SETS
WHERE YOU SAY, HERE IS WHAT
WE'VE GOT TO HIT DURING MY TIME
ON THE JOB.
WHAT WOULD THOSE BENCHMARKS BE?

Gemma says THERE'S A WHOLE
RANGE OF BENCHMARKS YOU CAN OPT
FOR.
YOU HAVE TO GET TO KNOW THE
ORCHESTRA FIRST AND THEN START
TO STRATEGIZE WITH THE BOARD,
WITH THE MUSICIANS, WITH THE
STAFF.
AND WE ARE DEFINITELY IN THAT
STAGE RIGHT NOW.
I DON'T KNOW IF I COULD REALLY
PINPOINT THEM FOR YOU
PUBLICLY...

Steve says IS IT SOMETHING LIKE
BUMS IN SEATS?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram."

Gemma says YOU KNOW WHAT?
WE HAVE A VERY GOOD ATTENDANCE
RATE.
BUT, YEAH, OF COURSE WE WANT AS
MANY PEOPLE TO BE REACHED BY OUR
MUSIC.
I THINK WE ARE LOOKING AT YOUTH
EDUCATION AND SEEING HOW MUCH WE
CAN SERVE HAMILTON SCHOOLS AND
THE YOUNG MUSICIANS THERE.
THAT IS DEFINITELY A PRIORITY
RIGHT NOW.
AND ALSO I THINK THE MUSIC OF
TODAY.
CANADA'S MUSIC OF TODAY.
HOW CAN WE PRESENT THIS TO AS
MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE IN THE
BEST POSSIBLE LIGHT.

Steve says AT ITS FULLEST
COMPLEMENT, HOW MANY?

Gemma says AT CORE, 32.

Steve says IS THERE ANY WAY
YOU'D LIKE TO GET SEVEN, EIGHT
MORE MUSICIANS?

Gemma says THAT'S
DEFINITELY SOMETHING WE'D LIKE TO SEEK.

Steve says LET'S GO BACK TO
CONDUCTING.
SOME MALE CONDUCTORS I HAVE SEEN
OVER THE YEARS, PETER IS NOT
ONE, I WOULD ADD, ARE IMPERIOUS
THE WAY THEY CONDUCT AN
ORCHESTRA.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR
STYLE?
I GUESS IMPERIOUS IS NOT ONE OF
THEM.

Gemma says I USUALLY LOOK
AT IT AS A BALANCE... MY JOB IS
NOT TO BE THE DICTATOR.
IT IS TO HELP PEOPLE, THE
MUSICIANS, FEEL COMFORTABLE AND
INSPIRED AT THE SAME TIME SO
THAT THEY CAN PLAY FREELY
WITHOUT DISTRACTION AND THEY CAN
ALSO FEEL ENERGIZED TO REACH
HIGHER THAN EVEN THEY THOUGHT
THEY COULD REACH.

Steve says YOU ARE PROBABLY,
THOUGH, THE FIRST FEMALE
CONDUCTOR THEY HAVE EVER WORKED
WITH, AND MAYBE THE YOUNGEST AS
WELL.
DO YOU HAVE THOSE MOMENTS WHERE
YOU SENSE THEY ARE KIND OF
CHALLENGING YOUR AUTHORITY MAYBE
BECAUSE OF YOUR YOUTH OR BECAUSE
OF YOUR GENDER?

Gemma says I DON'T... I
HAVEN'T HAD THAT YET.
FINGERS CROSSED.

Steve says DO YOU LOOK FORWARD
TO IT?

Gemma says YOU KNOW, MY
FIRST JOB AS A CONDUCTOR WAS
WHEN I WAS 19.
I GOT A YOUTH ORCHESTRA
POSITION.
AND EVEN THEN, WITH THE YOUTH
ORCHESTRA, SOME OF THE PLAYERS
WERE UP TO 25.
SO I IMMEDIATELY HAD THE YOUTH
ISSUE AND I LEARNT A WAY THAT
YOU JUST DON'T MAKE IT A
PERSONAL THING.
WE'RE ALL PROFESSIONALS, OR
WE'RE ALL YOUNG MUSICIANS WHO
ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT MUSIC WITH
ONE COMMON GOAL.
AND IF WE FOCUS ON THE MUSIC AND
WE FOCUS ON THAT GOAL THAT WE
ALL WANT TO ACHIEVE TOGETHER,
THERE IS NONE OF THAT NONSENSE
OF DISTRACTION.

Steve says HOW MUCH OF YOUR JOB
IS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR JUST
SORT OF FINANCIALLY KEEPING THE
WHOLE THING AFLOAT?
BECAUSE WE KNOW, YOU LOOK AROUND
NORTH AMERICA, SYMPHONY
ORCHESTRAS EVERYWHERE ARE HAVING
A TOUGH TIME.

Gemma says WELL, I'M THE
ARTISTIC LEADER, SO LUCKILY THE
BRUNT OF IT IS NOT PUT ON MY
SHOULDERS.
I'M PRETTY REALISTIC, THOUGH.
WHEN I LOOK AT PROGRAMMING, IT'S
LIKE THIS MAGNIFICENT JIGSAW
PUZZLE OF WONDERFUL PIECES THAT
I WANT TO PUT TOGETHER THAT I
NEED TO SEE HOW MANY PLAYERS ARE
NEEDED FOR EACH PIECE, AND IF,
SAY, WE NEED 10 EXTRA PLAYERS
FOR A 5-MINUTE PIECE, THERE'S
JUST NO WAY I'M GOING TO BE ABLE
TO PROGRAM IT THAT WAY.
YOU CAN BE OBVIOUSLY VERY
CREATIVE.
EVERY PROGRAM I WANT TO HAVE A
UNIFIED MESSAGE IN IT.
EITHER A STORY OR A THEME OR A
SUBJECT OR A STYLE OF MUSIC THAT
PEOPLE CAN REALLY GRAB ONTO WHEN
THEY GO TO THEIR CONCERT HALL
FOR THE EVENING.
I THINK LOOKING AT THESE
CREATIVE ASPECTS AND THE REALITY
OF BEING SENSIBLE AND
RESPONSIBLE WITH YOUR
SUGGESTIONS, IT HELPS.

Steve says HAMILTON PLACE IS
YOUR HOME BASE, YEAH?

Gemma says YES.

Steve says I REMEMBER WHEN
HAMILTON PLACE OPENED, IT'S GOT
TO BE 45, 46 YEARS AGO ALREADY.

Gemma says WOW.

Steve says IS IT STILL A GOOD
HALL TO PLAY IN?

Gemma says IT IS.

Steve says IT HOLDS UP
ACOUSTICALLY AND AESTHETICALLY
AND OTHERWISE?

Gemma says IT'S A WONDERFUL
HALL.
IF YOU'VE SEEN THE BRICKS.
THE WOOED ON THE STAGE.
I THINK IT'S A MAGNIFICENT HALL.

Steve says I'VE PERFORMED
THERE, YOU KNOW?

Gemma says YOU HAVE?

Steve says I NARRATED "'TWAS
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS."
I PERFORMED THERE BEFORE YOU
DID.

Gemma says WE'LL HAVE TO
PLAY THERE.

Steve says DON'T TEMPT ME?
I GOOGLED THE TOP 50 CONDUCTORS
OF ALL TIME, AND WHAT CAME UP
WAS 49 MEN AND ONE WOMAN.

Gemma says OH, GOSH.

Steve says I HATE TO SAY IT.
I NEVER HEARD OF THE WOMAN.
DO YOU KNOW WHO SUZANNA MALKI
IS.

Gemma says YES.

Steve says SHE WAS BORN IN
FINLAND.

Gemma says I ASSISTED HER
IN NEW JERSEY.

Steve says NO KIDDING?
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT'S GOING TO
TAKE FOR THE RATIO NOT TO BE
49-1 BUT MAYBE SOMETHING A
LITTLE MORE EVEN?

Gemma says I THINK THAT WE
SHOULD ENCOURAGE YOUNG PEOPLE TO
PURSUE THEIR PASSION AND TELL
THEM, IF THEY WORK HARD FOR IT,
IF THEY HAVE DETERMINATION THAT
THEY'LL SUCCEED.
AND I THINK JUST NOT MAKING IT A
WOMAN OR A MAN ISSUE WILL HELP.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin."

Steve says GREAT.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND BEST OF
LUCK WITH THE HAMILTON
PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA AND YOUR
RELATIVELY NEW RESPONSIBILITIES
THERE.

Gemma says THANK YOU,
STEVE.

Watch: Conducting the Hamilton Philharmonic