Thomas Wilkins is Music Director of the Omaha Symphony; a position he has held since 2005. Additionally, he is Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and holds 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 as a part of Indiana University’s “Matching the Promise Campaign.” Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony and Florida Orchestra, and associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony. He also has served on the music faculties of North Park University, the University of Tennessee, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Following his highly successful first season with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Globe named Wilkins among the “Best People and Ideas of 2011.” In 2014, he received the prestigious “Outstanding Artist” award at the Nebraska Governor’s Arts Awards and in March of 2018, the Longy School of Music awarded him the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society. During his career, Wilkins has led orchestras throughout the United States, including Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.
Wilkins’s commitment to community has been demonstrated by his participation on several boards of directors, including the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Charles Drew Health Center (Omaha), the Center Against Spouse Abuse in Tampa Bay, and the Museum of Fine Arts and the Academy Preparatory Center both in St. Petersburg, FL. 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.
A native of Norfolk, VA, Wilkins is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He resides with his wife Sheri-Lee in Omaha. They are the proud parents of twin daughters, Erica and Nicole.