Music Director & Conductor

Olivia Tsui Portraits in the Garden at Walt Disney Concert HallAn award-winning and versatile conductor, Ms. Olivia Tsui distinguished herself as the first woman Music Director in the 86 years of history of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra. The Los Angeles Times hailed her “outstanding performance…with brilliant virtuosity”. Plácido Domingo described her as “an exceptional musician – very confident with the baton.”

Since appearing as both conductor and soloist with the International Chamber Orchestra in 1997, Ms. Tsui has conducted worldwide both symphonic and operatic repertoire. Among many others, she was invited to guest conduct the famed Slovak State Philharmonic in Kosice, the Sofia Philharmonic, the Congress Orchestra of St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society of Russia, the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and the Stara Zagora State Opera House in Bulgaria.

Equally in demand on the home front, she has been a frequent guest conductor for the Bel Canto Opera Festival and Astoria Music Festival in Oregon, the Naples Philharmonic in Florida and the Rio Hondo Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Shanghai, China, Ms. Tsui was trained as a concert violinist where she toured many cities. After arriving in the United States in 1986, she continued her studies and earned advanced degrees. Her passion for conducting led her to be under tutelage of the foremost pedagogue Jorma Panula, and the distinguished teacher Jorge Mester. She also has studied at the Conducting Institute at Bard, New York, and has received a certificate with honor from the Advanced Conducting Academy After Ilia Musin in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Besides traditional symphonic and operatic repertoire, Ms. Tsui has acquired many aspects of music through her professional training and experiences. After 23 years of working with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, she has become very fluent in popular music such as movie soundtracks, Broadway shows, jazz, country and rock music. She has carried on the tradition of the Glendale Symphony established by their former Music Directors and guests – Lalo Schifrin, John Williams, Henry Mancini and Andre Previn.

An inspiring educator, Ms. Tsui has been a judge of the Southern California Young Musicians Foundation Competition for 7 consecutive years. A fervent advocate of the arts, she works diligently in her community to bring classical music to new generations. Her own arrangement of Mozart’s piano piece “Ah! vous dirai-Je, maman!” and a Christmas Medley for string quintet has been performed in over 120 concerts in different schools in Southern California. She has received an “Outstanding Musical Achievement Award” from the City of Los Angeles and her goal is to become a musical ambassador to the world, bringing all people together.

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