Sakari Dixon Vanderveer

Sakari Dixon Vanderveer on composing in middle school, the saxophone as a wild animal, and daring to be visible. 

Photo by William Vasta

As a public school student in San Bernardino, CA, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer’s interest in composition grew when her sixth grade orchestra teacher assigned a group project combining student compositions with their original artwork. Because she enjoyed creating music with her peers, Sakari took to composing chamber music for herself and her close friends through her time in high school. While studying composition with Dr. Anthony Suter at the University of Redlands, Sakari’s collaborations with performers of various disciplines lead to commissions from instrumentalists such as Kelsey Broersma and Spencer Baldwin.

Currently, Sakari seeks to promote contemporary music through her involvement in ensembles such as the Redlands Community Orchestra, which regularly premieres works by local composers. She also performed as a violist in the newly-formed Inland Empire Composers’ Concert Series, which completed its first season in the spring of 2017. In addition, her passion for diversity in new music recently led her to conduct a call for solo viola scores from composers over forty in response to Bill Doerrfeld’s article on New Music Box entitled “Ageism in Composer Opportunities.” After receiving about ninety submissions within three weeks, she selected three pieces in order to be added to her repertoire. She is planning to perform these pieces in recital.

As a musician in the Greater Los Angeles area, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer continues to perform and compose while attempting to hook her violin and viola students on the beauty of creating music. She currently studies composition with Reena Esmail.


El príncipe sombrío y los recuerdos de su niñez begins at 00:39. Performed at Sakari Dixon's Upper Division Qualifying Exam on April 9, 2012.

Click here to play this piece on Soundcloud.

The prelude of Bailando en la sombra de locura begins at 08:25. Spencer Baldwin, double bass.

Silken Brass/Scruffing Feathers begins at 12:07.

Click here to view the video; click on the tab "Tone Poems" and select the video by Fernando Cerda and Sakari Dixon. 

feRaL begins at 17:50. Kelsey Broersma, alto sax; Ian Kaminski, violin; Sakari Dixon, viola; Jeremy Boersma, cello; Austin Davis, conductor.

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