Luis Viquez

  • Assistant Professor in Orchestral Conducting Director of Orchestral Studies
  • Music
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  • Office Location: Fine Arts Center Room E202
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Latin Grammy-nominated and American Prize winner artist Luis Viquez continues to gain attention as one of the most influential Central American musicians of his generation with his versatile career as a clarinetist and orchestral, opera, and wind band conductor. A native of Costa Rica, he currently serves as the Director of Orchestral Studies and Assistant Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the University of Rhode Island. Prior to this, he held an acclaimed seven-year tenure as the Director of Orchestral Activities Endowed Chair and Music Director of the University of South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, as well as the conductor of the University of South Dakota Opera from 2016 to 2023. Under Dr. Viquez’s guidance, the orchestral program at the University of South Dakota earned both national and international acclaim as one of the most vibrant institutions for orchestral studies in the Midwest region. He also served as USD’s Associate Professor of Clarinet, leading a successful studio comprising both graduate and undergraduate Music Education and Music Performance students, several of them winning prestigious awards at the state and regional level.

As a sought-after guest conductor, Dr. Viquez has led featured performances throughout the United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and England, collaborating with ensembles such as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia (Costa Rica), the Cartago Municipal Orchestra (Costa Rica), the National Wind Orchestra of Guatemala, the Cherokee Symphony (IA), the Emporia Symphony Orchestra (KS), the Midwest Chamber Ensemble (KS), the Cartago National Wind Ensemble (Costa Rica), and the Hastings Symphony (NE). His operatic conducting appearances include Menotti’s “The Old Maid and the Thief” with the Truman Opera Theater (2013), Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” (2015), and Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw” (2016) with the UMKC Opera Theater, and Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” (2017), Menotti’s “The Consul” (2018), Massenet’s “Cendrillon” (2019), Handel’s “Alcina” (2022), and Puccinni’s “Suor Angelica” (2023) and “Gianni Schicchi” (2023) with the University of South Dakota Opera. Recently, he held conducting fellowships with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (PA), the Saratoga Orchestra (WA), and the Chamber Orchestra of New York.

His discography as a conductor includes the albums “Costa Rica desde Afuera” recorded with the Heredia Symphony Orchestra, featuring chamber orchestra works by Andres Soto, José Mora, Pablo Chin, and Guido Sánchez; “Get Along ´Yotes” with music by Corrado Maria Saglietti and Eddie Mora; “El Ruido del Agua – Music by Eddie Mora” featuring the University of South Dakota Symphony – nominated for the 23rd Latin Grammy Awards in the category of Best Classical Music Album – and “Observations on…” with orchestral music by Rocío Sanz, Deanna Wehrspann, Andrés Soto, Stephen Yarbrough, and Steven Landis, recently released by Mark Records.

Parallel to his career as a conductor, Dr. Viquez is an accomplished clarinetist. He has appeared as a soloist with the South Dakota Symphony, the Cherokee Symphony, the Sioux City Municipal Band, and the Heredia Symphony. In the early years of his career, he served as a member of the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and toured with the World Youth Wind Orchestra in Taiwan. His performances can be heard on the albums “Eddie Mora: Haikus” and “Paul Lombardi: Music for Clarinet and Other Instruments,” as well as on four albums in which he recorded as the principal clarinetist of the Heredia Symphony Orchestra released by Musitica Records. He has also performed live for the South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the Iowa Public Radio, and the University of Costa Rica Broadcasting System.

As an avid champion for Music Education and community music, Dr. Víquez is a highly demanded clinician and adjudicator at the national and international level. He has conducted several All-State orchestras, community ensembles, and honor band festivals nationwide and has presented instrumental conducting workshops and clarinet masterclasses at the University of Iowa, the University of Connecticut, Pacific Lutheran University, the National Conservatory of Music of Honduras, Northern State University, the National University of Costa Rica, Emporia State University, Wayne State College, and the University of Costa Rica, where he also served as a Visiting Professor of Chamber Music for the summer of 2019. As a scholar, Dr. Viquez has published academic articles, both in English and Spanish, regarding instrumental music pedagogy and Latin American music in the Journal of the College Orchestra Directors Association, the WASBE World Magazine, the Revista Educación de la Universidad de Costa Rica, and the Journal of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. Additionally, he is one of the authors of the book “Benjamín Gutierrez: La Música es Mi Destino,” published in 2016 by the University of Costa Rica Press.

He is a winner of the 2022 American Prize in Orchestral Performance, in addition of being one of the recipients of the 2021 South Dakota Music Education Association Outstanding Educator Award and the 2022 University of South Dakota Presidential Legacy Award. He also received an Honorable Mention in the 2022 Respighi Prize in Orchestral Conducting, organized by the City of Bologna and the Chamber Orchestra of New York. Dr. Viquez holds degrees from the University of Costa Rica (BM – Clarinet Performance), Truman State University (MA – Clarinet Performance & MA – Wind Band Conducting), and the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri Kansas City (DMA – Orchestral & Opera Conducting). He is a clarinet artist for the brands Royal Global Clarinets and D’Addario Woodwinds USA and currently serves as the National Vice President of the College Orchestra Directors Association.


D.M.A. in Orchestral Conducting, University of Missouri
M.A in Music, Clarinet Performance, Truman State University
M.A in Music, Wind Conducting, Truman State University
B.M. in Clarinet Performance, University of Costa Rica.