One of the country’s most distinguished conductors, Maestro Thomas Wilkins returns to lead the San Diego Symphony for the eleventh successive year. A highly sought-after guest conductor for top orchestras throughout the Unites States, Wilkins always brings a special energy and excitement to each performance, which is why he’s been invited back to Symphony at Salk, a concert under the stars.
Wilkins is the Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and he continues his role as the Music Director of the Omaha Symphony. Wilkins was recently named the Boston Symphony’s “Germeshausen Family and Youth Concerts Conductor.” Past positions include Resident Conductor of the Detroit Symphony as well as the Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony (Virginia). He has also served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. A native of Norfolk, VA, Wilkins resides in Omaha with his wife, Sheri-Lee, and their twin daughters Nicole and Erica.
The San Diego Symphony Orchestra performed its first concert on December 6, 1910. In the 100-plus years since its inception, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra has become one of the finest orchestras in the United States and was designated a Tier 1 Orchestra by the League of American Orchestras. In 2010 the Orchestra celebrated its 100th anniversary and was the first California orchestra to reach this milestone.
The San Diego Symphony Orchestra offers a wide range of concert experiences and performs over 120 concerts annually including the Jacobs Masterworks (conducted by Music Director Jahja Ling) offering classical repertoire and featuring acclaimed guest artists such as Lang Lang, Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman and the City Lights series led by principal pops conductor and Academy-Award® winning composer Bill Conti. Each summer, the Orchestra presents an outdoor series of Summer Pops concerts featuring classical favorites and popular programs in a festive, outdoor setting on San Diego’s picturesque waterfront.
The home of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra is the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center in downtown San Diego, regarded as one of the finest classical music venues on the West Coast, originally built in 1929 as The Fox Theatre movie palace. In October 2013 the SDSO made its acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut featuring piano soloist Lang Lang, and immediately followed with an 11-day China Friendship Tour with concerts in Beijing, Shanghai and San Diego’s sister city, Yantai.