An 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. She was praised by the Los Angeles Times describing her performance as "outstanding performance...with brilliant virtuosity". Plácido Domingo has described her as "an exceptional musician - very confident with the baton.” Daily Astorian said, “Ms. Tsui should be a featured conductor for any music festival in the country.”
During her 9 years of association with the Glendale Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Tsui carried on the tradition of the orchestra established by her preceding Music Directors and guests – Carmen Dragon, Lalo Schifrin, John Williams, Henry Mancini and Andre Previn. Since appearing as both conductor and soloist with the International Chamber Orchestra in 1997, Ms. Tsui has conducted worldwide both symphonic and operatic repertoire. She was invited to guest conduct the famed Sofia Philharmonic, the Congress Orchestra of St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society of Russia, the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Slovakia State Philharmonic and the Stara Zagora State Opera House in Bulgaria, among others.
Equally in demand on the home front, she has been a frequent guest conductor for Bel Canto Opera Festival in Oregon, Naples Philharmonic in Florida, Rio Hondo Symphony Orchestra and Valley Symphony. She has been the Resident Conductor of Astoria Music Festival since 2011 where she works with up-and-coming young singers from all over the country putting together a fully staged opera within three weeks for every summer.
Born in Shanghai, China, Ms. Tsui studied violin and got her degree from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Her passion for conducting led her to be under tutelage of the sought-after pedagogue Jorma Panula, and the distinguished teacher Jorge Mester. She also 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. Active since 1991 on the international stage and in major Hollywood motion picture recording studios, Ms. Tsui has been collaborating with illuminaries from the classical world to the pop scene, such as Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Madonna. After 27 years as a tenure member of both the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Los Angeles Opera, she not only has become very fluent in Opera and Ballet music, but popular music, such as movie soundtracks, Broadway shows, and some jazz, pops and ethnic music as well.
Ms. Tsui is the Founder and Artistic Director of Los Angeles Virtuosi Association, established in 2005. Under LAVA’s umbrella, many innovative projects have been created. “Magical Journey through Music and Digital Arts” - a collaboration of live music with digital art created live on stage in sync by Oscar Award winning visual artist J-Walt reached out to an audience with a vast spectrum of ages and backgrounds and won critical acclaims. After holding 5 years tenure position as the Concert-Master for both Beverly Hills Chamber Orchestra and Rio Hondo Symphony, she continues to perform as a guest concert-master whenever she finds time, with orchestras such as the Astoria Music Festival Orchestra and Burbank Philharmonic.
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.
In March 2015 Ms. Tsui co-founded two new groups, the Silicon Beach Philharmonic & Chorale, and the Silicon Beach Music Academy. The organization has been rewarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for its active community engagement to bring music and arts to a broader public and younger generations.