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Having celebrated his twentieth anniversary as Boston Pops
Conductor in 2015, Keith Lockhart is the second longest-tenured
conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885.
He took over as conductor in 1995, following John Williams's
thirteen-year tenure from 1980 to 1993; Mr. Williams succeeded the
legendary Arthur Fiedler, who as at the helm of the orchestra for
nearly fifty years. During his tenure, Keith Lockhart has
significantly expanded Pops programming, focused on national annual
touring, and participated in major media events. He has solidified
the orchestra's place in the fabric of the New England community
and has led the Boston Pops in countless performance situations.
The list of more than 250 guest artists with whom he has
collaborated is a virtual "who's who" of performers and pop culture
Keith Lockhart, who occupies the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston
Pops Conductor chair, has conducted more than 1,900 Boston Pops
concerts, most of which have taken place during the orchestra's
spring and holiday seasons in Boston's historic Symphony Hall. Mr.
Lockhart has also led annual Boston Pops appearances at Tanglewood,
43 national tours to more than 150 cities in 38 states, and four
international tours to Japan and Korea. He and the Pops have made
79 television shows and participated in such high-profile sporting
events as Super Bowl XXXVI, the 2008 NBA finals, the 2013 Boston
Red Sox Ring Ceremony, and the Red Sox Opening Day game at Fenway
Park in 2009. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
draws a live audience of over half a million to the Charles River
Esplanade and millions more who view it on television or live
webcast. Last year, with Eaton Vance as presenting sponsor and
Bloomberg exclusive media partner, the Pops organization presented
its first self-produced Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which
was broadcast on Bloomberg Television and all its media outlets.
Both companies made initial three-year commitments to the event in
Mr. Lockhart has led eight albums on the RCA Victor/BMG Classics
label, including two-The Celtic Album and The Latin
Album-that earned Grammy nominations. Recent releases on
Boston Pops Recordings include The Red Sox Album, A
Boston Pops Christmas-Live from Symphony Hall, and The
Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, which was
a Boston Pops commission premiered in 2010 during the orchestra's
125th season. Released at the beginning of the 2017 Pops season,
Lights, Camera…Music! Six Decades of John Williams
features Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops in a collection of
Williams compositions from the 1960s onward, some of which can be
Programming-wise, Keith Lockhart has put an increased focus on
musical theater, attracting such leading Broadway artists as
Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Kelli O'Hara, Bernadette Peters,
and Billy Porter to the Pops stage. He has worked closely with
hundreds of talented young musicians, including Fellows of the
Tanglewood Music Center, college students from the Boston
Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and area high school
students. He introduced the PopSearch talent competition and the
innovative JazzFest and EdgeFest series, featuring prominent jazz
and indie artists performing with the Pops. He is dedicated to
building and updating the Boston Pops library of music, which
contains over five thousand arrangements.
With a renewed commitment to bring the Boston Pops into the
Boston community and to important civic events, Keith Lockhart and
the Pops have appeared at gubernatorial and mayoral inauguration
ceremonies; the annual tree lighting in Boston's Public Garden;
sporting events including Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics
games; and the memorial service for the Boston Marathon bombing
victims. He has led free concerts in such major public spaces as
Boston Common and Franklin Park, and each holiday season brings
members of the Pops to play for patients at Children's
Perhaps the most significant key to Keith Lockhart's success is
his ability to connect passionately with audiences through his
engaging programs, his commitment to speaking directly from the
stage with fascinating insights into the music, and his inherent
understanding of the importance of what sets the Pops experience
apart from a traditional orchestra concert-an atmosphere of
music-making that is both fun and entertaining for music lovers of
Having just completed an eight-year tenure as principal
conductor, Keith Lockhart is now chief guest conductor of the BBC
Concert Orchestra in London, which he led in the June 2012 Diamond
Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II; he is also artistic
director of the Brevard Music Center summer institute and festival
in North Carolina. Prior to his BBC appointment, he spent eleven
years as music director of the Utah Symphony, which he led at the
2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has appeared as a
guest conductor with virtually every major symphonic ensemble in
North America, as well as many prestigious orchestras in Asia and
Europe. Prior to coming to Boston, he was the associate conductor
of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras, as
well as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Born in
Poughkeepsie, NY, Keith Lockhart began his musical studies with
piano lessons at the age of seven. He holds degrees from Furman
University and Carnegie Mellon University, and honorary doctorates
from several American universities. Visit keithlockhart.com for further information.
Keith Lockhart, conductor
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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 Beach, CA.
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