Thomas Wilkins is music director of the Omaha Symphony, a position he has held since 2005. He is also principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Germeshausen Family and Youth Concert Conductor, and he holds Indiana University’s Henry A. Upper chair of orchestral conducting established by the late Barbara and David Jacobs. Past positions include resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony. He has served on the music faculties of North Park University in Chicago, University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He has conducted orchestras throughout the United States and abroad; in 2019 his engagements include returns to the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, and National Symphony orchestras.
Devoted to promoting a life-long enthusiasm for music, Thomas Wilkins brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages. After his first season with the Boston Symphony, The Boston Globe named him among the “Best People and Ideas of 2011.” In 2014 Mr. 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 2018 he received the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society, conferred by Boston’s Longy School of Music.
Mr. Wilkins’s commitment to community has been demonstrated by his participation on several boards of directors, including the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Charles Drew Health Center in Omaha, Center Against Spouse Abuse in Tampa Bay, and Museum of Fine Arts and Academy Preparatory Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. He serves as chairman of the board of the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund and as national ambassador for the non-profit World Pediatric Project, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, which provides children throughout Central America and the Caribbean with critical surgical and diagnostic care.
A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Thomas Wilkins is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.