BOSTON, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Jeff Makholm, Chair of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and Stephen Symchych, Search Committee Chair, announced today that Christopher Wilkins will serve as the Boston Landmarks Orchestra's new music director beginning immediately. Wilkins also serves as Music Director of both the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Akron Symphony Orchestra and will continue in those positions.
"We are thrilled that Chris has said yes," said Makholm. "We believe he will further the vision of our founder, Charles Ansbacher, who died last year, to break down the barriers for people to experience the thrill of hearing great orchestral music by providing free concerts at our home at the DCR's Hatch Shell and in the community."
Ansbacher's wife, Ambassador Swanee Hunt commented, "Charles had great confidence in Chris, as a conductor and as a civic leader. I'm sure that on opening night this summer he'll be dancing."
"We chose Chris because he fervently believes in collaborations with other institutions and that performances for young people, where they can interact with the musicians, are intrinsic to fostering a thriving cultural community in the future," continued Symchych.
Wilkins was born in Boston with his parents still living in Concord. He attended Milton Academy and earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1978. In 1979-80, he attended the Hochschule der Kunste in West Berlin, as a recipient of the John Knowles Paine traveling fellowship, awarded by the Harvard music department. As an oboist, he performed with many ensembles in Massachusetts, including the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra, and the Boston Philharmonic. He studied at Yale University, receiving his master of music degree in 1981, and was a conducting fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.
As a guest conductor, Wilkins has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of the United States and abroad. He has served as Music Director of the San Antonio Symphony, where he and the orchestra received the Morton Gould Award for creative programming. He led the Colorado Springs Symphony and is currently Artistic Advisor to the Opera Theatre of the Rockies there. He also served as resident conductor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. He was associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra; and conducting assistant with the Oregon Symphony.
SOURCE Boston Landmarks Orchestra