Krishan Oberoi is an award-winning conductor, composer and choral arranger.
His choirs have been praised for their “impressive warmth and verve” (Boston Globe) and “clear diction, perfect pitch and clear purpose” (San Diego Union-Tribune). Oberoi is the founding Artistic Director of SACRA/PROFANA, a critically acclaimed, California-based chorus described as “a divine vocal canopy” by The Los Angeles Times, and noted in Variety Magazine for their “startling depth”.
Hailed for his “visionary direction” (San Diego Story), Oberoi has been an ardent champion of 20th and 21st century music, empowering choruses to tackle challenging works by such composers as Arnold Schoenberg, György Ligeti and Steve Reich. In 2018, Oberoi received a grant from the Krenek Institute in Krems, Austria, for bicoastal U.S. performances of 12-tone
choral works by composer Ernst Krenek. Reviewing these performances, San Diego Story critic Kenneth Herman wrote, “Oberoi’s confident, clear and insightful directing focused each movement and effectively tightened elusive monodic sections.”
Oberoi has also been recognized as a notable proponent of living composers, initiating regional premieres of works by Nico Muhly, Sara Kirkland Snider and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. In 2014, Oberoi conducted the world premiere recording of David Lang’s when we were children, a piece dedicated to the Glimmerglass Opera.
A passionate advocate for choral singing, Oberoi has enthusiastically engaged diverse populations in Southern California through SACRA/PROFANA’s Education & Outreach Programs. These efforts include a month-long after-school program at San Diego’s Monarch School, an institution devoted to students impacted by homelessness, as well as a year-long residency at Mira Mesa High School, and annual week-long summer programs typically drawing 60-100 participating high school-aged choristers.
Oberoi is a seasoned recruiter, and in 2014 was enlisted by New York-based Disney Theatrical Productions to serve as Chorus Master for the inaugural performances of Disney’s new musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In this capacity, Oberoi worked closely with music director B-A Huffman as well as composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz in bringing the Oscar-nominated score to the stage. Oberoi recruited and prepared 120 choristers to participate in 50 consecutive performances of The Hunchback of Notre Dame during its initial run at the La Jolla Playhouse. In 2016, Oberoi was asked to recruit the 60-voice volunteer chorus for the first regional production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine.
He has been at the vanguard of collaborative, interdisciplinary performance, working frequently with filmmakers, choreographers and visual artists to expand audiences by creating innovative concert experiences. From 2014 to 2016, Oberoi worked annually with Oscar-winning film composer Michael Giacchino, recruiting and directing the chorus for live performances of Giacchino’s film music each year during Comic Con International. In 2016, Oberoi was invited to serve as secondary conductor for the first-ever outdoor IMAX event, as Giacchino’s Star Trek Beyond soundtrack was performed live by SACRA/PROFANA and the San Diego Symphony for the red-carpet world premiere of the film, in collaboration with director J.J. Abrams.
In 2017, Oberoi co-founded Doctrine, a musical collaborative between SACRA/PROFANA and Los Angeles-based composer Stephen Feigenbaum. Doctrine’s first single, “Play”, became an internet sensation; the single was featured on the Spotify playlist “Young & Free” with over 1 million subscribers, and listed by TIME magazine as one of “5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week” (May, 2017).
Oberoi holds a bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory, a master’s degree from Yale University, and is the recent recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from Boston University. He is Professor of Voice and Director of Collegiate Chorale at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and also serves on the faculty at Eastern Nazarene College, where he teaches Music & Arts. Oberoi is frequently published in the American Record Guide, where he is a regular contributor of choral, vocal, and opera CD reviews.