University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra — Artistic Director and Conductor
Cairn University Symphony Orchestra — Conductor
Philadelphia International Music Festival — Conductor
CSSM since 2005
MM (Temple University), Art Dipl (Curtis Institute of Music)
Hailed by Kurt Masur as “One of the most talented young conductors of his generations,” Thomas Hong enjoys the privilege of being one of many successful protégés of the great Maestro. Having won titled positions with the Dallas, Pittsburgh and Seattle Symphony Orchestras as well as Orchestre National de France, Hong has conducted countless concerts with those orchestras, ranging from classical, community, education and pops concerts. Presently, he is the artistic director and conductor of the University of Pennsylvania Orchestras. Recent activities include being principal conductor for the inaugural season of the DSO on the GO series with the Dallas Symphony, performing in neighboring venues of the North Texas area, and a re-engagement with the Utah Symphony, where he was the conductor for the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City.
Orchestras that Hong has conducted in the past include the Utah, Fort Worth, Virginia, Richmond, Spokane and Winnepeg Symphonies as well as the Seoul, Buffalo and Lutosławski Philharmonics. More recent invitations include the Berlin Symphony, North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Siciliana and Cairo Symphony Orchestra. Among his operatic and vocal performances are Copland’s The Tenderland, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and Donizetti’s L’exisir d’Amore at the Wortham Opera Theatre in Houston. Awards that Hong has received include the Leopold Stokowski Fellowship, the Whitaker Opera Prize and a residency award by the Brahms society of Baden-Baden. His latest recording was from the show “From the Top” with pianist/host Christopher O’Riley and the DSO at the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Hong was born in Incheon, Korea and immigrated to the United States with his family. He began his musical training as a pianist with Dr. Samuel Hsu at Cairn University. Later, he went on to earn a masters degree in choral conducting at Temple University and an artist diploma in orchestral conducting from The Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Maestros Alan Harler and Otto Werner Mueller, respectively. He concluded his artistic training with Maestro Larry Rachleff at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Currently, Hong lives in Philadelphia with his wife Rachel Ku and their daughter Esther.