Kenneth Thompkins

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Kenneth Thompkins was appointed Principal Trombone of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Neeme Järvi. Prior to this appointment, he held positions in the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra and performed with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. A former participant in the Detroit Symphony’s African American Fellowship Program, he has been a mentor to several Orchestra Fellows over the years.

Thompkins has been invited to perform and conduct master classes at many music schools, including the Curtis Institute of Music, Mannes College, the University of Michigan, and Interlochen Arts Academy. An active chamber musician, Thompkins performs frequently in recital and is a member of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings. Thompkins has performed concertos with both the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony.

Thompkins has toured Europe with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has also performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He can be heard on recordings by Detroit Chamber Winds, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has also contributed a chapter to The Brass Player’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Performance.

A native of Severna Park, Maryland Thompkins received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and Master of Music degree from Temple University. His principal teachers include Frank Crisafulli and Eric Carlson. Kenneth Thompkins is an S.E. Shires Trombone artist. 

More information on Kenneth Thompkins can be found at https://kenneththompkins.com