Pacific Symphony logo

Virtual Live Events

Enjoy virtual Symphony Mixers and intimate Coffee & Conversations. Grab a beverage of your choice, tune in and connect with fellow music lovers!

Symphony Mixers

Coffee & Conversations

Symphony Mixers

Virtual Symphony Mixer

Symphony Mixers are open to Symphony subscribers and donors, and are hosted weekly by Ben Smolen, principal flute of Pacific Symphony. Recordings of each Mixer will be posted here in the week after the event.

Mixer #23 with Principal Trumpet Barry Perkins - Nov. 11, 2020

Pacific Symphony's Principal Trumpet Barry Perkins joins our Mixer series for this latest installment. Hosted by Concertmaster Dennis Kim, they discuss Barry's budding passion for film-making in lockdown, their time recording in Hollywood together, interesting industry anecdotes and more!


Mixer #22: Assistant Principal Violin Jeanne Skrocki - Nov. 6, 2020

Two Pacific Symphony violinists ... one fascinating conversation! Join Pacific Symphony Concertmaster Dennis Kim as he hosts Assistant Concertmaster Jeanne Skrocki, when they dive into her story as a student of legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz, her solo debut at the LA Phil and her life as one of Southern California's most in-demand musicians.


Mixer #21: Coast-to-Coast Concertmasters - Oct. 21, 2020

Concertmaster Dennis Kim takes over this week's Mixer with two very special guests from his musical past and present: Alexander Kerr, concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Steven Copes, concertmaster of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The three discuss their musical education, swap concertmasters (horror)stories, and give some advice to young musicians looking to break into the classical music scene.


Mixer #20 with Pianist Alexander Romanovsky - Oct. 16, 2020

Ben met with accomplished pianist and friend of the Symphony Alexander Romanovsky, who joined us live from Switzerland! They discuss the deep intricacies of the great Russian piano concertos and compositions, keeping musically active in quarantine, and recall memories from their classical music education.


Mixer #19 with KUSC personality Brian Lauritzen - Oct. 7, 2020

Brian believes that classical music is deeply serious, riotously humorous and everything in between. He exhibits a healthy respect for this great art, and the great artists who create it, and balances that regard with a tasteful irreverence in his presentations on Classical KUSC. Ultimately, Brian believes there are few absolutes when it comes to music–only personal taste. If you don’t like something, you’re not wrong. Brian has occasionally been criticized for using words like, “awesome,” “facepalm,” and “dude” on the air…and he’s fine with that. Classical music purists may not fully understand Brian’s love for hip-hop and bluegrass music, but then when he begins to geek out over the intricacies of a Mahler symphony, everything begins to make sense again.


Mixer #18 with Gitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas - Sept. 30, 2020

Pablo Sáinz-Villegas has been acclaimed by the international press as the successor of Andrés Segovia and an ambassador of Spanish culture in the world. Since his debut with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at the Lincoln Center, he has played in more than 40 countries and invited to play with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philharmonic of Israel, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Orchestra of Spain, making him a benchmark for the symphonic guitar.


Mixer #17 with Conductor David Danzmayr -  Sept. 23, 2020

Described by The Herald as "extremely good, concise, clear, incisive and expressive," David Danzmayr is widely regarded as one of the most talented and exciting European conductors of his generation.


Mixer #16 with an Education Panel -  Sept. 16, 2020

Host and Principal Flute Ben Smolen brings together a panel on musical education for this special edition of the Mixer series, featuring Symphony Vice President of Education & Community Engagement Susan Miller Kotses, Symphony violinist Christine Frank, and Ben's former flute student/former PSYE member Bridget Pei!


Mixer #15 with Ben Smolen - Sept. 2, 2020

The tables have turned, and this time, host and Principal Flute Ben Smolen is in the hot seat! Audience favorite and returning guest, Principal Viola Meredith Crawford interviews Ben for this special episode of Symphony Mixers. Meredith is also a member of Long Beach Block x Block, Long Beach's premiere classical ensemble composed entirely of Pacific Symphony musicians!


Mixer #14 with Rose Corrigan - Aug. 26, 2020

Principal Bassoon Rose Corrigan joins host and Principal Flute Ben Smolen this week. Rose has one of the most impressive and extensive performance histories of any musician out there today, with over 800 film soundtracks under her belt, including "Star Wars" and "March of the Penguins."


Mixer #13 with Paul Huang - Aug. 19, 2020

Recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, violinist Paul Huang is considered to be one of the most distinctive artists of his generation. The Washington Post remarked that Mr. Huang "possesses a big, luscious tone, spot-on intonation and a technique that makes the most punishing string phrases feel as natural as breathing," and further proclaimed him as "an artist with the goods for a significant career" following his recital debut at the Kennedy Center.


Mixer #12 with Kirstin Chavez -  Aug. 12, 2020

Mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chavez is a past guest artist with Pacific Symphony, most recently for last year's Café Ludwig concert, "To Tell A Story," hosted by Orli Shaham. Principal Flute Ben Smolen hosts this special Symphony Mixer as they discuss living as an artist in quarantine, the importance of music education, and her time singing in some of the most famous roles in the opera repertoire. You can learn more about Kirstin and her work here:


Mixer #11 with Adedeji Ogunfolu -  Aug. 5, 2020

Second French horn player Adedeji Ogunfolu joins Principal Flute Ben Smolen for an excellent Mixer discussing life during the pandemic, Adedeji's participation in the "Lift Every Voice & Sing" mosaic video of Black American musicians, and more!


Mixer #10 with Christopher Theofanidis -  July 29, 2020

Renowned American composer Christopher Theofanidis joined the Symphony Mixer this week, hosted as always by Principal Flute Ben Smolen.


Mixer # 9 with Michael Franz - July 22, 2020

In this Symphony Mixer, Principal Bass Michael Franz joins Ben Smolen, host and principal flute, in this weekly discussion-based series! They discuss working together in Long Beach Block x Block, Michael's musical origins in rock'n'roll, and a lot more.


Mixer #8 with Music Director Carl St.Clair - July 15, 2020

Music Director Carl St.Clair joins Principal Flute Ben Smolen on our weekly web series, Symphony Mixer! This is one you won't want to miss.


Mixer #7 with Aiven O'Leary - July 8, 2020

Headjoint-maker at Wm. S. Haynes Flutes Aiven O'Leary joins host and Principal Flute Ben Smolen for this week's informational Symphony Mixer, as the two discuss Ben's flute, the ins-and-outs of making such a unique and complex instrument, and tell some stories about their time working together.


Mixer #6 with LB Block x Block - July 1, 2020

This Symphony Mixer this week features Long Beach Block x Block, a brand-new chamber ensemble made of our Symphony musicians. They discuss the origins of this group, some of the pieces they've orchestrated and performed and the future of chamber music during a pandemic. Ben Smolen, Meredith Crawford, Joshua Ranz and his wife Lelie Resnick, Christine Frank and Michael Franz comprise this incredibly talented group.


Mixer #5 with Meredith Crawford - June 24, 2020

Principal Flutist Ben Smolen, host of our Symphony Mixer series, is joined by Principal Violist Meredith Crawford for a fascinating conversation spanning her work recording for Hollywood films, her work composing a piece for the chamber group Salastina, and her participation in LB Block x Block, a stellar ensemble formed with Pacific Symphony musicians who live in Long Beach!


Mixer #4 with Conductor Mei-Ann Chen - June 17, 2020

Principal Flute Ben Smolen hosted Mei-Ann Chen, the esteemed music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta, a classical music organization focused on highlighting the works of more diverse and lesser-known composers. It's a fascinating and light-hearted conversation about her time with the Sinfonietta, her thoughts on programming with diverse composers and her experiences conducting our own Symphony!


Mixer #3 with Warren Hagerty - June 5, 2020

Host of our Symphony Mixer series, Principal Flute Ben Smolen, is joined by Principal Cellist Warren Hagerty for the third installment of our weekly Symphony Mixer series! They discuss Warren's "Bach Project," his music education in Southern California, current world and cultural events, and answers your questions about everything cello!


Mixer #2 with Dennis Kim - May 29, 2020

Principal Flutist Ben Smolen hosts Pacific Symphony's concertmaster, Dennis Kim, who explores the history behind his Stradivarius violin and talks about his passion for sports and his previous concertmaster appointments.


Mixer #1 with Orli Shaham - May 22, 2020

In this first-ever virtual Symphony Mixer, Principal Flutist Ben Smolen hosts Café Ludwig host and curator Orli Shaham in conversation and performance. They discuss performing in the Samueli Theater together for Café Ludwig, Orli's living in New York during the height of the pandemic, how the arts (and artists themselves) are dealing with the stress of quarantine, and more!

Coffee & Conversations

Coffee and Conversations

Join members of the Symphony family as they talk about various aspects of their craft with the Governing Members, a Symphony support group. Enjoy an intimate peek behind the scenes of our orchestra! 

The Three C's: Coffee, Conversation and Carl - Sept. 24, 2020

Music Director Carl St.Clair talks with our Governing Members about selecting music for the Pacific Symphony and programming for the concert hall and digital medium!


Mixer #22: Assistant Principal Violin Jeanne Skrocki - Nov. 6

Two Pacific Symphony violinists ... one fascinating conversation! Join Pacific Symphony Concertmaster Dennis Kim as he hosts Assistant Concertmaster Jeanne Skrocki, where they'll dive into her story as a student of legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz, her solo debut at the LA Phil and her life as one of Southern California's most in-demand musicians.


The Art of Conducting - Aug. 22, 2020

Music Director of Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensembles (PSYWE) Dr. Gregory Whitmore engages with our Governing Members in answering their questions and sharing his conducting training, career and major impact the Governing Members have on its PSYWE students.