Thomas Wilkins (conductor)

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Thomas Wilkins (born c.1956) is an African-American orchestra conductor.[1] He is the music director of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra,[2] principal guest conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra,[3] and family and youth concerts conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Wilkins was born in Norfolk, Virginia and grew up in a housing project, the son of a single mother and welfare recipient.[4] His inspiration to become an orchestra conductor came from a performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" he attended when he was eight years old.[1]

Wilkins received a bachelor's degree in music education from the Shenandoah Conservatory in 1978, and a master of music degree in orchestral conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1982.[2]

Teaching and conducting[edit]

Wilkins has taught at North Park University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Virginia Commonwealth University.[2]

He worked as assistant director of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. He also worked as resident director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra.[2]

Wilkins became music director of the Omaha Symphony in 2005,[2] and family and youth concert conductor of the Boston Symphony in 2011.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Braxton, Greg (2009-09-09). "Hollywood Bowl's Thomas Wilkins a classical case of beating the odds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Thomas Wilkins, Music Director". Omaha Symphony. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  3. ^ "About the conductor; Thomas Wilkins". Hollywood Bowl. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  4. ^ a b c Johnson, Akilah (2011-12-04). "Raising the baton; The BSO’s first black conductor applies his passion to inspiring a new generation". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2012-11-19.