The Omaha Symphony is a professional orchestra performing more than 200 concerts and presentations annually in Omaha, Nebraska and throughout the orchestra’s home region. The orchestra was established in 1921. It is considered a major American orchestra, classified under “Group 2” among the League of American Orchestras, which ranks symphony orchestras by annual budget, with Group 1 the largest and Group 8 the smallest. Its annual budget in 2012 was approximately $7 million. The symphony has a $30 million endowment.
The orchestra’s home and principal venue is the 2,005-seat Holland Performing Arts Center, the $100 million purpose-built facility designed by Polshek Partnership that opened in October 2005. In an review, The Dallas Morning News called the Holland “one of the country’s best-sounding” symphony halls.
Its music director since 2005 is Thomas Wilkins. Wilkins lives in Omaha. He also is principal guest conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which is under the auspices of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Wilkins also is the Germeshausen Family and Youth Concerts Conductor for the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2011; the Boston Globe named him among the “Best People and Ideas of 2011.” Before his Omaha post, Wilkins was resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Since the 1992/93 season, Ernest Richardson has served as the Omaha Symphony’s resident conductor. Prior to coming to Omaha, Richardson was a violist with the Phoenix Symphony.