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Lunch with Christopher Wilkins

April 3, 2019 at 11:30 am

Christopher Wilkins, Music Director of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, will be the guest speaker at a luncheon on April 3, 2019.

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Lunch with Christopher Wilkins


April 3, 2019
11:30 am
Event Category:


Wolf Creek Tavern
3044 Wadsworth Road
Norton, OH 44203 United States
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Christopher Wilkins will be the guest speaker at a special luncheon on April 3 at 11:30 a.m.

Maestro Wilkins will speak about Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story ahead of the Akron Symphony Orchestra’s performance of the complete musical score on May 4. (Learn more about the concert here.)

West Side Story is at its heart a love story, and Bernstein’s score soars with the open-hearted lyricism of the romantic symphonic tradition. But unsettling issues of ethnic strife and gang violence are also treated in Bernstein’s musical conception, as rhythms, chords, and colors clash in new and masterful ways.

Maestro Wilkins will be joined by Connor Bogart O’Brien, who has been cast in the role of Tony, part of the large and talented cast the Akron Symphony has gathered from all over Northeast Ohio, and beyond, for West Side Story. Connor will perform songs from the musical with Christopher accompanying him on the piano.

The luncheon, which is presented by the Akron Symphony Guild and open to the public, will be held at Wolf Creek Tavern, located at 3044 Wadsworth Road in Norton. Guests will have the choice of a buffet, featuring salad, beef tips, chicken marsala and vegetables; or a vegetarian option of country fried cauliflower steak with chick peas and spinach.

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets for the luncheon are no longer available.

Maestro Wilkins will be leading the Akron Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony on April 6.

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Did You Know?

Christopher Wilkins

Christopher Wilkins has served as Music Director of the Akron Symphony since 2006. Under his direction the orchestra’s programming has reflected his strong interest in community-oriented projects. He has developed partnerships with many artists and organizations based in Northeast Ohio, including the Akron Art Museum, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Firestone High School, Summit County Historical Society, YEPAW 365, GroundWorks Dance Theater, Neos Dance Theatre, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Recent major collaborative projects have included fully staged performances of Porgy and Bess, The Rite of Spring, Titanic, South Pacific, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and Carmina Burana. The orchestra’s community initiatives have been awarded a major grant from the Knight Foundation to support community engagement projects and collaborative programming over a five-year period.

Maestro Wilkins also serves as Music Director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, a summer orchestra performing weekly on Boston’s Esplanade and throughout the neighborhoods of Boston. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of the United States, including those of Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. He has also appeared regularly with orchestras in Latin America, New Zealand, Spain and the UK.

He previously 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. Wilkins also served as resident conductor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, helping launch that orchestra in its inaugural season, and leading it on tours throughout the Americas.

Wilkins won the Seaver/NEA Award in 1992. He has served as the associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, assisting his former teacher Joseph Silverstein; as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, as assistant to Christoph von Dohnányi; conducting assistant with the Oregon Symphony under James DePreist; and was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Born in Boston in 1957, Maestro Wilkins earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College. He received his master of music degree from Yale University, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller. As an oboist, he performed with many ensembles in the Boston area, including the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and the Boston Philharmonic under Benjamin Zander.

Connor Bogart O’Brien, Tony

Akron Symphony OrchestraAfter studying opera at the Eastman School of Music in New York, Connor has been a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Southeast Texas Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Firelands Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Pops, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He also starred on The History Channel’s Shifting Gears, and has served as executive music supervisor and composer to The Discovery Channel.

With his rock band, he has performed as the opening act on more than 20 national tours, including Jim Brickman, Huey Lewis and the News, Edwin McCain, Richard Marx, Rick Springfield, Hall & Oates, and Mariah Carey.

Connor can currently be heard behind the scenes singing and recording jingles for American Greetings, directing the All City Musical at the Akron Civic Theatre, as well as an international headliner on cruise lines worldwide with his show available in both English and Mandarin Chinese. Learn more at www.connorbogart.com.

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