Allen Tinkham

Allen Tinkham is increasingly recognized as one of the most inspiring and exciting conductors and teachers of his generation. He is hailed by the Chicago Tribune as both a conductor and teacher, described as working “wonders” conducting with “uncanny control” and as one of Chicago’s most important “educators, mentors and inspirational guides in the training of tomorrow’s orchestral professionals.”

As the music director of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Tinkham oversees artistic programming and faculty and leads the symphony orchestra as well as CORE, CYSO’s select chamber orchestra. Tinkham led the CYSO in its Carnegie Hall debut, first live broadcast, first recording release and seven international tours on four continents. The CYSO, internationally acclaimed as “one of the country’s most famous youth outfits” (Muso Magazine), is regularly broadcast by WFMT-FM and has received many awards from the Illinois Council of Orchestras, including Youth Orchestra of the Year and Programming of the Year.

As an advocate and champion of contemporary music, Tinkham has won nine American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers National Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. Tinkham is also the music director of the Chicago Composers Orchestra, Chicago’s only professional orchestra performing exclusively the works of living composers.

In high demand as a guest conductor and educator, Tinkham has conducted summer festivals and NAFME All-State Orchestras throughout the United States, including the All-Eastern and All-Northwest Orchestras. He was the assistant conductor for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concerts for six seasons, and he has guest-conducted the Colorado Symphony, Kansas City Symphony and members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra events.

Tinkham attended the Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan School of Music and American Academy of Conducting of the Aspen Music Festival. He was invited to the 14th International Nicolai Malko Competition and the 4th International Conductors Competition Sir Georg Solti and is a laureate of the League of American Orchestras Bruno Walter Conductor Preview.

Tinkham began his career as apprentice conductor at the Oregon Symphony, and before the end of his apprenticeship was appointed music director of CYSO, the youngest ever to win the post.

Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.