Thomas Hong is presently the new assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony. Previously, he was assistant conductor of Orchestre National de France and also associate conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. As assistant conductor of Orchestre National de France, Mr. Hong has participated in various tours all over Europe, including most recently a momentous occasion where Maestro Kurt Masur performed the complete Beethoven symphonies in Frankfurt and Baden-baden. As associate conductor of Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Hong is in charge of programming and conducting all educational and outreach concerts, including four performances as part of Carnegie Hall's LinkUp! music education program, serving all fourth grade students in the Fort Worth Independent School District. Other appointments in the past include assistant conductor of The Curtis Opera Theatre, visiting assistant professor at Haverford College and music director of Delaware County Youth Orchestra as well as First Korean Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, where he served as organist and choir director for many years.
Orchestras that Mr. Hong has conducted in the past include Spokane, Richmond, Winnepeg Symphony Orchestras as well as the Seoul, Buffalo and Lutos³awski Philharmonic Orchestras. Among his operatic and vocal performances are Copland's The Tenderland, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. His most recent operatic production was Donizetti's L'exisir d'Amore at the Wortham Opera Theatre in Houston. Awards that he has received in the past include the Leopold Stokowski Fellowship and the Whitaker Fund for Opera. Most recently, he was awarded the fellowship by the Brahms society of Baden-Baden offering residency for several weeks in the studio of Brahms' only remaining summer home in Germany.
As an educator, Mr. Hong was on the faculty of The Shepherd School Pre-College at Rice University, teaching piano to young students. He was also a part of the Just for U Music Program (JUMP!) at the university, dialoging and interacting with children as well as performing for them. In 2006, he was an integral part of forming a new musical organization, working closely with the executive and artistic directors as the founding conductor. Based in Greenwich, Connecticut, Youth Symphony for United Nations or YSUN's guiding principle continues to be ‘a gathering of sound for world peace.'
Thomas was born in Incheon, Korea and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1978. He began his musical training at the age of 15 on the piano and continued his studies with Dr. Samuel Hsu at Philadelphia Biblical University. Later, he went on to earn a master degree in choral conducting at Temple University and an artist diploma in orchestral conducting from The Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Maestro Otto Werner Mueller. He concluded his artistic training with Maestro Larry Rachleff at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.