Sakura Tsai

Artist Teacher of Violin
School of Music


B.M., M.M., D.M.A., University of Southern California


Violinist and educator Dr. Sakura Tsai enjoys a multifaceted career having performed nationally and internationally as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician.

A native of Southern California, Dr. Tsai studied at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music where she earned degrees (B.M., M.M., and D.M.A.) in Violin Performance. Her mentors and teachers included Midori Goto, Kathleen Winkler, Hagai Shaham and Alice Schoenfeld. Additional fields of study while pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree included Music Theory and Analysis, Violin Pedagogy with Endre Granat, and Kinesiology.

A dedicated educator, Dr. Tsai became Artist Teacher of Violin at University of Redlands in 2017. She is also on faculty at the California State Summer School for the Arts as well as Junior Chamber Music (Inland Empire). Dr. Tsai makes frequent appearances as an adjudicator and serves as clinician in schools around Southern California where she mentors aspiring young musicians. She coaches instrumentalists in the Walnut Valley Unified School District at both Diamond Bar and Walnut High Schools while being actively involved with the Diamond Bar High School Performing Arts Academy Advanced Music Program. In addition, Dr. Tsai has a robust private studio and has previously held faculty positions at Marymount California University and Idyllwild Arts Academy.

As a performer, Dr. Tsai recently became a new member of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing in several regional orchestras, she maintains an active career as a chamber musician winning honors at international competitions such as the International Young Artists Peninsula Music Festival and the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. As violinist with chamber ensembles Definiens, DuselForty58, and the What’s Next? Ensemble, Dr. Tsai has championed works of numerous living composers; she is an avid performer of contemporary music. Extensive collaboration with young composers included residencies and performance projects at institutions such as California State University, Northridge and Long Beach, University of California, Riverside, and the University of Southern California. She also collaborated with artists such as Grammy Award-winning entertainer Ian Whitcomb featuring music by Patricio da Silva on a CD entitled Now and Then: Music of the Great Depressions(s) 2010/1929, composers Julia Adolphe, Veronika Krausas, Isaac Schankler, and Jacob ter Veldhuis (“JacobTV”), pianist Vicky Ray, and soprano vocalist Tony Arnold with these  ensembles. Other collaborations included the performance of Steven Mackey’s Physical Property with the composer on electric guitar at the University of Southern California and the world-premiere performance (of the version for nine string quartets) of Horatiu Radulescu’s String Quartet No.4, Op.33 with the JACK Quartet at the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland.

Courses Taught at Redlands

Applied Violin

Areas of Expertise

Violin Performance
Chamber Music