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Thomas Wilkins is Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He has held a titled position at the Hollywood Bowl since 2008 when he was named Principal Guest Conductor; in the spring of 2014 became Principal Conductor.
He also serves as Music Director of the Omaha Symphony, a post he has held since 2005. In the fall of 2013 he renewed his contract with the Omaha Symphony through the 2017/2018 season. He also holds the Germeshausen Family and Youth Concert Conductor chair with the Boston Symphony. Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony and the Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and associate conductor of the Richmond (VA) Symphony. He also has served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Devoted to promoting a life-long enthusiasm for music, Thomas Wilkins brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages. He is hailed as a master at communicating and connecting with audiences. Following his highly successful first season with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Globe named him among the “Best People and Ideas of 2011.” In 2014, Wilkins received the prestigious “Outstanding Artist” award at the Nebraska Governor’s Arts Awards, for his significant contribution to music in the state.
During his conducting career, he has led orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the Utah Symphony, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., to name a few.
He continues to make frequent appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony. Last season he returned to the National Symphony Orchestra for a two-week festival of American music and dance, as well as a collaboration with world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Wolf Trap, the NSO’s summer home. During the 2014-15 season, in addition to performances in Detroit and Columbus, he returned to the New Mexico Symphony and will also return to the Cleveland Orchestra. Other future engagements include debuts at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival and the New York Philharmonic.
His commitment to community has been demonstrated by his participation on several boards of directors, including the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Charles Drew Health Center (Omaha), the Center Against Spouse Abuse in Tampa Bay, and the Museum of Fine Arts as well as the Academy Preparatory Center both in St. Petersburg, FL. Currently he serves as chairman of the board for the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund and as national ambassador for the non-profit World Pediatric Project headquartered in Richmond, VA, which provides children throughout Central America and the Caribbean with critical surgical and diagnostic care.
A native of Norfolk, VA, Thomas Wilkins is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He resides with his wife Sheri-Lee in Omaha. They are the proud parents of twin daughters, Erica and Nicole.