Thomas Wilkins is music director of the Omaha Symphony. He is also the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra’s principal conductor and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s artistic advisor, education and community engagement. He holds Indiana University’s Henry A. Upper Chair of Orchestral Conducting, established by the late Barbara and David Jacobs. Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and associate conductor of the Richmond (Virginia) Symphony. He has served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), 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. During his conducting career, he has led many orchestras throughout the United States and abroad; recent engagements have included returns to the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, DC, to name a few.
His 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 (Omaha), Center Against Spouse Abuse in Tampa Bay, and the Museum of Fine Arts and Academy Preparatory Center, both in St. Petersburg, Florida. 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, which provides children throughout Central America and the Caribbean with critical surgical and diagnostic care.
Thomas Wilkins honors include the prestigious Outstanding Artist award at the Nebraska Governor’s Arts Awards for his significant contribution to music in the state (2014) and the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society conferred by Boston’s Longy School of Music (2018). A native of Norfolk, Virginia, he is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music.
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