Village Concerts Artistic Director Tomasz Golka is equally at home as a conductor, composer, and violinist. Since coming to international attention when we won 1st Prize at the 2003 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, Golka has conducted orchestras in North and South America and Europe to great critical acclaim.
He has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Seattle, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Spoleto Festival USA, Warsaw Philharmonic, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, as well as numerous orchestras throughout Mexico, including those in Xalapa, Mérida, Queretaro, Guadalajara, Boca del Río, Guanajuato, Puebla, Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Juarez, Monterrey, Saltillo, and the OFUNAM in Mexico City, as well as Puerto Rico Symphony in San Juan and in Concepción (Chile), where he was Principal Guest Conductor. He has collaborated with some of the world’s top soloists, including Susan Graham, Alisa Weilerstein, Gary Hoffman, Inon Barnatan, Miriam Fried, Yuval Yaron, Joseph Swensen, and his pianist-brother Adam Golka.
Past positions include Chief Conductor of Colombia National Symphony in Bogotá as well as Music Director of the Lubbock Symphony. He is currently in his 13th season as Music Director of Riverside Philharmonic, a virtuoso orchestra made up of the top studio musicians in Hollywood.
Golka has served as Cover Conductor for Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Solti International Conducting Competition and the 2005 Malko International Conducting competition, where he conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and the Danish Radio Symphony, respectively.
A composer of both film and concert works, he was named Composer-in-residence of the 2018 Boulder International Chamber Music Competition, which commissioned his piece “True Green.” He composed scores for the films “Shaking Cup” (2019), “The Dare” (2018), and the web series “Pagan Holidays” (2019). His concert works have been performed by the symphony orchestras of California, El Paso, Williamsport, Boca del Río, and the Suffolk County Festival Orchestra.
As violinist he appears as chamber musician and soloist throughout North America. In the past few seasons, he has appeared as soloist with the Lake Charles Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthews, and Riverside Philharmonic.
As a conducting fellow at the 2006 Tanglewood Music Festival, Golka shared the podium and worked with Bernard Haitink and conducted a historic performance of Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale with legendary composers Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and John Harbison as narrators – a recording that is now available through the Boston Symphony. He has also recorded Ciranda das sete notas by Heitor Villa-Lobos for Melo Records. He was a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival in 2002 and has conducted in masterclasses for such esteemed conductors as David Zinman, Yuri Temirkanov, and Daniel Lewis.
Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1975, Golka’s family emigrated to Mexico in 1980 and to the United States in 1982. His conducting teachers were Gustav Meier, David Effron, and Bernard Haitink. He has a Certificate in Film Scoring from the prestigious UCLA Extension Film Scoring Program, where he was the recipient of the coveted BMI/Jerry Goldsmith Film Scoring Scholarship. He also holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in violin performance from Rice University, where his teachers were Sergiu Luca and Kenneth Goldsmith. His other violin teachers included Tadeusz Wronski and Marina Yashvili. He is fluent in Polish, English, and Spanish.