Kornel Thomas is currently the Assistant Conductor of Savaria Symphony Orchestra. He recently won second prize and two special prizes at the Opera Nice Conducting Competition and in 2016, won third prize at the 2nd Atlantic Coast International Conducting Competition in Portugal. His work with professional ensembles include ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Argovia Philharmonic, Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok, Danubia Orchestra Óbuda, Zugló Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Teplice, Hungarian National Choir, and Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. Previously, he held assistant conductor positions at the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Lamont Symphony Orchestra, and St. Stephen King Youth Orchestra. In 2013, he was acting music director of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre. He is a strong advocate for contemporary music and was the Music Director of Nebula Ensemble from 2014-2018. During his time with the ensemble he conducted over fifty world premieres. He has worked closely with leading European composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág and Péter Eötvös.
Thomas is an established composer, currently writing music for short films. He has collaborated with the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York. He has received commissions to compose works for the Allegro Vivo Chamber Music Festival, St. Stephen King Conservatory Women’s Choir, and the St. Stephen King Music School String Orchestra. In 2006, Thomas won the second prize at the 3rd Béla Bartók Hungarian National Composer Competition.
Understanding the importance of music education for children, Thomas served from 2013-2016 as Conductor and Teaching Artist at El Sistema Colorado. During his tenure, the program grew from thirty students to over seven hundred students, all of whom came from poor socioeconomic families. His goals and hopes for these children were to transform and empower their lives through the power of music.
Thomas studied conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and composition at the St. Stephen King Conservatory Budapest. His mentors include Mark Stringer, Ervin Ortner, László Draskóczy, Michael Jinbo, Sian Edwards, Douglas Bostock, and Daniel Harding.