“The Omaha Symphony agreed with its music director, Thomas Wilkins, to a three-year contract extension through the 2017-18 season,” writes Casey Logan in Wednesday’s (10/16) World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska). “ ‘It feels terrific,’ Wilkins said of the agreement, his third contract extension since joining the symphony in 2005.… That feeling goes both ways, according to Omaha Symphony president and chief executive officer James Johnson.… ‘Thomas is in great demand,’ said Johnson…. Johnson saw that demand firsthand last season when he attended a concert in another city, where Wilkins was debuting as a guest conductor” at another orchestra. After the concert, “ ‘There were, no exaggeration, 40 musicians lined up outside his dressing room door,’ Johnson said. ‘Each one telling him how wonderful the week was when he was there and (asking) would he come be their music director.’ ” Wilkins has “made community outreach a priority, determined to bring new audiences to classical music…. Omaha Symphony concertmaster Susanna Perry Gilmore joined the orchestra in 2011…. ‘From the moment I got here, I felt there was a tremendous warmth in the organization, between the musicians and Thomas,’ she said. ‘I feel like everyone is rowing in the same direction. ‘ ”

Posted October 17, 2013