In 2008, Wilkins' appointment as principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (HBO) made him the ensemble’s first titled leader since its founding director John Mauceri retired in 2006.
Wilkins’ tenure includes conducting the HBO in over 110 concerts. Performances include those with Diana Ross, John Legend, Pentatonix, Sergio Mendes, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, Jewel, Seu Jorge, and Pink Martini.
This year, he will direct the HBO in its first public concerts since venues were closed due to the pandemic. He will also lead the LA Philharmonic in concerts celebrating the orchestral music of Duke Ellington at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
"The Hollywood Bowl, the HBO and the LA Phil hold a special place in my heart and bring me a great deal of joy," said Wilkins in a press release. "Continuing this relationship is a thrill, and I anticipate more of this fulfilling work and collaboration."
Herbie Hancock, the LA Phil’s Creative Chair for Jazz also received a contract extension of an extra two years through to 2023.
"To be able to work with both Herbie Hancock and Thomas Wilkins is such an extraordinary privilege," said CEO Chad Smith and CEO Chair David C. Bohnett.
"Herbie’s passion and creative vision for jazz has had a profound impact on the LA Phil’s jazz series year after year," they continued. "And Thomas' special connection with the orchestra and the audience was apparent to us from the first time he conducted the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
"We're beyond thrilled to continue our relationship with a musician of his immense talent and dedication. We are incredibly fortunate to have them both as members of the LA Phil family."