Viswa Subbaraman’s Biography
Viswa Subbaraman is the incoming Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre, a full spectrum musical theatre in Milwaukee. Prior to Skylight, Subbaraman was the Artistic Director and Founder of Opera Vista, an innovative contemporary opera company in Houston. Subbaraman’s accomplishments at Opera Vista included the world premiere of James Norman’s “Wake…,” the Texas premiere and historic New Orleans premiere of Amy Beach’s “Cabildo,” and the creation of the annual Vista Competition for new opera. He was named one of the Houston Press’ 100 Most Creative People for 2012.
Prior to Opera Vista, Subbaraman served as Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre National de France where he assisted Kurt Masur and visiting guest conductors, distinguished artists such as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, and Sir Colin Davis.
Raised in West Texas and the son of Indian immigrants, Subbaraman originally planned to become a doctor like his father and grandfather. While a biology student at Duke University, he developed a deeper interest in music, playing for the university marching band and eventually traveling abroad to expand his musical knowledge and skill. After graduating from Duke with a dual degree in biology and music, he worked as assistant to William Henry Curry, Resident Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony.
Upon completion of his master’s degree from Texas Tech University, he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study conducting with John Nelson in Paris where he also worked as the Visiting Assistant Conductor of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Two months after arriving in Paris, Subbaraman was offered a post by Maestro Masur with the Orchestre National de France. Upon completion of his Fulbright year, Subbaraman received the first extension of a Fulbright grant ever issued by the French Fulbright Commission.
While working with Opera Vista, Subbaraman earned an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
In his rare moments of free time, Subbaraman is a hardcore sports fan who is passionate about Duke basketball and Buffalo Bills football. He loves to travel and cook, and he speaks five languages – English, French, German, Italian and Tamil.
Career accomplishments include:
- Participation in the Beethoven Seminar, sponsored by the Beethoven Orchester of Bonn and the BeethovenHaus, Bonn. The seminar is normally open only to German conductors, but Maestro Masur invited Subbaraman to take part in lectures given by BeethovenHaus scholars and to conduct the Beethoven Orchester of Bonn on the final concert.
- Awarded the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship by the Herbert von Karajan Centrum and American Austrian Foundation, which resulted in his residency at the 2005 Salzburg Festival.
- Participation in the Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar at the Manhattan School of Music
- Study of conducting at the Institut Musical de Provence-Aubagne in France, Accademia Chigiana in Italy, and the Brevard Music Center (North Carolina)
- Semifinalist in the 2005 Suwon International Conductors Competition in Suwon, Korea, in the 2006 Vakhtang Jordania Competition, and the 2007 Grzegorz Fitelberg Competition
- Studied with such distinguished conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, John Nelson, David Effron, and Gunther Schuller and was also a recipient of the Edward C. Lynch Fellowship
Significant conducting appearances
- Longview (TX) Symphony Orchestra
- Orchestre National d’Ile de France
- Thames Philharmonia (London)
- Bombay Chamber Orchestra (India)
- Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy
- New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra (New York)
- Midland/Odessa Symphony and Chorale (USA)
- Orchestre National du Capitole Toulouse
- AudioInversions Contemporary Music Ensemble (Texas)
- Williamsport Symphony Orchestra (Pennsylvania)
- Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Santa Cruz)
- National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center as Debut Conductor in the National Conducting Institution (Washington D.C.)
Click an image below to enlarge.