Photography by William Vasta, 2014.
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Recently featured in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra EarShot New Music Readings, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer seeks to incorporate the unique artistry of her collaborators in each of her works. Pieces such as Obsidian, rippled in moonlight, gleams and Fire Season, both written for Salastina, embody her affinity for employing visceral, stark contrasts that convey her recurring fascination with metamorphosis as a natural element of life. 

Vanderveer’s latest premieres include collaborations with Derek Bermel, for Connecting ACO Community; HOCKET, for #What2020SoundsLike; and Maxine Troglauer, for the Composers Conference, which she attended as a Fromm Foundation Composer Fellow. Other collaborations include commissions for the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra and the Portland Youth Philharmonic.

An alumna of the University of Redlands, Vanderveer’s primary teachers include violists Mark Braunstein and Kira Blumberg as well as composers Anthony Suter, Reena Esmail, and Derrick Skye. Described as “thrilling and powerful” (Journal of the American Viola Society), her unaccompanied piece El príncipe sombrío y los recuerdos de su niñez remains a popular choice among violists. Her suite of unaccompanied works, Bagatelles for Strings, was commissioned for the 36th Annual Irving M. Klein International String Competition, where it premiered on The Violin Channel.

A member of the New Music USA Program Council and a Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Composer Teaching Artist Fellow, Vanderveer’s desire to empower youth also remains a catalyst behind much of her work. She recently founded the You(th) Can Compose! Summer Workshop, a personalized, online intensive program for teens who are new to composing. 

Vanderveer’s aim is that children from all walks of life will gain access to contemporary music and composition, allowing them to develop a better appreciation and understanding of concert music – new and old – so that they, too, can cherish it and engage with it throughout their entire lives.

Please do not edit or modify this biography without written permission.

Click here for a Google Doc of this bio including shortened versions and one intended for young audiences.

Style Notes:

Sakari’s pronouns are she/her.

When referring to Sakari in print or in speech, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer is preferred; Sakari Vanderveer is acceptable.*

Ms. or Mrs. may be used as honorific titles. When using Sakari’s surname alone or with an honorific title, she is to be referred to as Vanderveer and not Dixon Vanderveer.

*Yes, my domain name and social media handles are still “Sakari Dixon.” I’d rather spend more time composing than wrestling with technology for now. 😉 – Sakari