The Seattle Times reported she died Thursday, just weeks after she was diagnosed.
"Death has never scared me," the newspaper quoted Saks, a native New Yorker, as saying in mid-July.
"I've never been afraid of it," she said. "I think about what I've done in my life: starting my career as a cellist, achieving a fair amount of success, having two great kids, coming to the University of Washington, starting the [music] festival, meeting Marty [Dr. Martin Greene, her husband of 25 years] ... It's been wonderful. I've had the joy of grandchildren -- and the joy of handing over the festival to [current artistic director] Jimmy Ehnes; it's like my other soul took over. He is so divine."