CHRISTOPHER WILKINS was appointed Music Director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra in the spring of 2011. Since then the orchestra has reaffirmed founder Charles Ansbacher’s vision of passionate music-making with a civic purpose. Mr. Wilkins has led the development of programs with an emphasis on collaborative work and broad accessibility.
Mr. Wilkins has initiated collaborations with the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in the South End, The Conservatory Lab Charter School, and schools and community centers in the Boston area through the orchestra’s new “Notes in the Neighborhoods” project. Programming for the summer of 2012 also includes collaborations with Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., Boston Lyric Opera and on Opening Night, a chorus assembled from all 21 Boston neighborhoods.
Mr. Wilkins also serves as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic and the Akron Symphony. As a guest conductor, Mr. Wilkins has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of the United States, including those of Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. He has also appeared overseas, with regular concerts in recent seasons in Ireland, Latin America, New Zealand, and Spain.
He has served as Music Director of the San Antonio Symphony and the Colorado Springs Symphony, and is currently Artistic Advisor to the Opera Theatre of the Rockies in Colorado Springs. During his tenure in San Antonio, he and the orchestra received six programming awards from ASCAP, including the first-ever Morton Gould Award for creative programming. He also served as resident conductor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, helping in the formation of that orchestra in its inaugural season, and subsequently leading it on tours throughout the Americas.
Mr. Wilkins was winner of the Seaver/NEA Award in 1992. He has served as associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, assisting his former teacher Joseph Silverstein; assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra under Music Director Christoph von Dohnányi; conducting assistant with the Oregon Symphony under Music Director James DePreist; and was a conducting fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.
Born in Boston, Mr. Wilkins earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1978. As an oboist, he performed with many ensembles in the Boston area, including the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra at Tanglewood, and the Boston Philharmonic under his mentor, Benjamin Zander. He studied with Otto-Werner Mueller at Yale University, receiving his master of music degree in 1981, and in 1980 attended the Hochschule der Künste in West Berlin, as a recipient of the John Knowles Paine traveling fellowship, awarded by the Harvard music department.