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Thomas Wilkins is Music Director of the Omaha Symphony, a
position he has held since 2005. Additionally he is Principal Guest
Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and holds the
Germeshausen Family and Youth Concert Conductor chair with the
Boston Symphony. Past positions have included Resident Conductor of
the Detroit Symphony, the Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and
Associate Conductor of the Richmond (VA) Symphony. He also has
served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago),
the 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 considered a master at communicating and connecting with
audiences. Following his highly successful first season with the
Boston Symphony, the Boston Globe named him among the "Best People
and Ideas of 2011."
During his conducting career, he has led orchestras throughout
the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta
Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony, the
Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic,
the Baltimore Symphony, the Utah Symphony and the National Symphony
in Washington, D.C., to name a few.
He continues to make frequent appearances with the Philadelphia
Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, and
the New Jersey Symphony. During the 2012/2013 season he will make
debuts with the orchestras of Phoenix, Sarasota, Naples and Long
His 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 as well as he 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 headquartered
in Richmond, VA, which provides children throughout Central America
and the Caribbean critical surgical and diagnostic care.
A native of Norfolk, Va., Thomas 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.
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
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Eighteen-year-old American pianist Amir Siraj is a
2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. In the past year, he
has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
in Washington, D.C., Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion in
Chicago, the Atlantic Council Awards in New York, the New World
Center in Miami, JBLFest in Las Vegas, and Carnegie Hall. Siraj has
been guest soloist with orchestras including the Boston Pops
Orchestra, the New England Philharmonic, the Quincy Symphony
Orchestra, the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra, and the Midwest Young
Artists Symphony Orchestra. He received the Grand Prize at the
Fidelity Investments Young Artist Competition, First Prize at the
Harvard Musical Association, and Second Prize at the Kaufman
International Youth Piano Competition. Siraj has also been honored
as a guest of NPR's "From The Top" at Jordan Hall and selected as a
winner of the National YoungArts Competition. In addition, he has
appeared at venues including Boston's Symphony Hall, Bowdoin
International Music Festival, American Liszt Society, and the Max
Reger Foundation of America, among many others.
Siraj believes in the power of music and channeling it for
social good and healing. He has performed in and directed many
benefit concerts and outreach programs for Music For Food,
Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,
Goddard House, NewBridge on the Charles, Golda Meir House, and
Golden Living Center. He also performed as part of Christopher
O'Riley's new piece "This Land/Our Land" with other young musicians
with immigrant stories.
Siraj recently recorded with Lang Lang on Deutsche Grammophon.
He is currently studying piano with Wha Kyung Byun and studying
astrophysics at Harvard, where he also sings with the Krokodiloes,
Harvard's oldest a cappella group.
Amir Siraj, piano