"There were beautiful and exciting things in the playing: Golka displayed an understanding of the complementary roles of momentum and elasticity in [Richard] Strauss’s music... Babbitt’s 'From the Psalter' is as complicated and striking in meter, language, and emotional directness as the texts. The string orchestra under Golka played it confidently, and Golka achieved a Mozartian transparency."
- Richard Dyer, Boston Globe
Since winning 1st Prize at the 2003 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, conductor and composer Tomasz Golka has appeared with 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, Xalapa, Jalisco, Warsaw Philharmonic, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, as well as the OFUNAM in Mexico City, and he has collaborated with some of the world’s top soloists, including Susan Graham, Alisa Weilerstein, Gary Hoffman, Inon Barnatan, and his pianist-brother Adam Golka.
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.
Past positions include Chief Conductor of Colombia National Symphony in Bogotá as well as Music Director of the Lubbock Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's in Los Angeles. He is currently Music Director of Riverside Philharmonic.
A composer of both film and concert music, he recently scored the short film "Shaking Cup" (2019) and was named Composer-in-Residence of the 2018 Boulder International Chamber Music Competition. His concert works have been performed by the symphony orchestras of California, El Paso, Williamsport, Boca del Rio, and the Suffolk County Festival Orchestra.
At the 2006 Tanglewood Music Festival, Golka conducted a historic performance of Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale with composers Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and John Harbison as narrators – a recording that is now available for sale through the Boston Symphony’s website bso.org. He has also recorded Ciranda das sete notas by Heitor Villa-Lobos for Melo Records.
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 David Effron at Indiana University and Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory. He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in violin from Rice University, where his teachers were Sergiu Luca and Kenneth Goldsmith. He also studied violin with Tadeusz Wroński and Marina Yashvili. He holds a Certificate in Film Scoring from the prestigious UCLA Extension, where he was the recipient of the coveted BMI/Jerry Goldsmith Scholarship.