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 he became Principal Conductor.
Additionally, he holds positions as Music Director of the Omaha Symphony, a post he has held since 2005, and the Germeshausen Family and Youth Concert Conductor Chair with the Boston Symphony. In August of 2017, he assumed the Henry A. Upper Chair of Orchestral Conducting established by the late Barbara and David Jacobs as a part of Indiana University’s “Matching the Promise Campaign.” Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony and 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, 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. And in March of 2018, the Longy School of Music awarded Thomas Wilkins the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society.
During his conducting career, he has led orchestras throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony and New York Philharmonic (both of which he will return to guest conduct in the 18/19 season), the Atlanta Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony (where he will return in the 19/20 season), the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the Utah Symphony, and Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony, as well as the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., to name a few.
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 and his wife Sheri-Lee are the proud parents of twin daughters, Erica and Nicole.