Principal Conductor, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
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; he became Principal Conductor in spring of 2014.
Additionally, he holds positions as Music Director of the Omaha Symphony, a post he has held since 2005; the Boston Symphony’s Artistic Advisor, Education and Community Engagement; and Indiana University’s Henry A. Upper Chair of Orchestral Conducting, which was established by the late Barbara and David Jacobs as part of that University’s “Matching the Promise Campaign.” 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 has also served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), the University of Tennessee at 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, while 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. In 2019 the Virginia Symphony bestowed their annual Dreamer’s Award on Thomas Wilkins.
During his conducting career, he has led orchestras throughout the United States, including the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, the National Symphony, and the symphonies of Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, among others.
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.