He succeeds current music director Hal France, and will take up his post at the beginning of the 2006-07 season. The search for France's replacement began last February.
Wilkins was music director of the San Antonia Symphony for ten years, and held the same position at the Colorado Springs Symphony. As resident conductor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, he led the ensemble on tours throughout North and South America.
He has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco, as well as with many international orchestras.
Tamas Kocsis, the Orlando Philharmonic's concertmaster and also a member of the search committee, said, "Hiring Chris Wilkins as music director is the best thing that could have happened to the Orlando Philharmonic. I am looking forward to working with him on and off the podium."
Wilkins is also among the finalists for the music-director position of the Akron Symphony, and made a guest-conducting appearance with the ensemble last weekend.