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 making great music accessible to the whole community. Mr. Wilkins has led the development of programs with an emphasis on inclusive programming and collaborative work.
Mr. Wilkins has initiated collaborations with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in the South End, Conservatory Lab Charter School, New England Spiritual Ensemble, and schools and community centers throughout the Boston area. Programming for the summer of 2014 also included collaborations with Boston Lyric Opera, the American Guild of Organists, and a chorus assembled from all 21 Boston neighborhoods known as the “One City Choir.”
Mr. Wilkins also serves as Music Director of the Akron Symphony, which recently received $500K from the Knight Foundation to support collaborative programming. 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 New Zealand, Latin America, Spain and the UK.
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, assisting in the formation of the orchestra in its inaugural season, and 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 Joseph Silverstein; assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi; conducting assistant with the Oregon Symphony under James DePreist; and was a conducting fellow at Tanglewood.
Born in Boston, Mr. Wilkins earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1978. He studied with Otto-Werner Mueller at Yale University, receiving his master of music degree in 1981, and in 1979 attended the Hochschule der Künste 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 the Boston area, including the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra at Tanglewood, and the Boston Philharmonic under Benjamin Zander.