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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

Virtual Symphony Mixer

Symphony Mixers

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

Mixer #51: John Wineglass

Join Assistant Conductor Dr. Jacob Sustaita in his debut role as he hosts Emmy Award-winning composer John Christopher Wineglass. Wineglass was recently commissioned by the Symphony to compose “Alone Together,” a piece that addresses the social issues we have all been facing during the pandemic.

Mixer #50: Robert Schumitzky, First Violin

Robert Schumitzky is a first violinist with Pacific Symphony, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Schumitzky performs on the “Ex-Halir” Stradivarius made in 1694, so we'll hear from Rob and Concertmaster Dennis Kim about their shared experiences performing on the two Stradivarius violins in Pacific Symphony.

Mixer #44: Dennis Kim & Lelie Resnick - April 28, 2021

Bach's Brandenburg Concertos are some of the Baroque period's most popular works and you'll get the chance to see Pacific Symphony tackle the second one at the next Symphony Thursdays at 7 event. This Mixer—hosted by Principal Flute Ben Smolen—features two of the performers from that program: Concertmaster Dennis Kim and English Horn, Lelie Resnick. Listen to all three of these fabulous musicians speak about their personal relationship with this iconic piece, their experience performing it at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and more!

Mixer #43: Joshua Ranz & Alan Chapman - April 21, 2021

New week, new faces! KUSC's own Alan Chapman takes over hosting duties at tomorrow's Symphony Mixer as he interview's Pacific Symphony's bass clarinetist Joshua Ranz. Think of this Mixer as a “record release party” celebrating Ranz’s new album of Bach’s Three Cello Suites recorded for bass clarinet, the same day it goes on sale on Amazon.

Mixer #42: Roberto Díaz & Elissa Lee Koljonen - April 14, 2021

Join Concertmaster Dennis Kim as he hosts music power couple Roberto Díaz, president and CEO of the Curtis Music Institute and internationally acclaimed violinist Elissa Lee Koljonen. Díaz, former principal viola of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Koljonen met in 1994 at the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival where they were scheduled to perform the popular Halvorsen Passacaglia for violin and viola (based on original music by George Frideric Handel). Learn more about their relationship as well as their remarkable journey as accomplished musicians and music educators.

MIxer #41: Pianist Orli Shaham - April 7, 2021

The last time pianist and Café Ludwig host, Orli Shaham dropped by virtually, the world was a lot less certain. Quarantining was an activity we were still getting used to, grocery and dinner deliveries were the new norm and stages around the world had gone dark. More than one year later, our future appears brighter, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and live music appears on the horizon. Join Principal Flute Ben Smolen as he hosts Shaham in a reflective Symphony Mixer episode.

Mixer #40: Eileen Jeanette, Senior VP of Artistic Planning & Production - March 31, 2021

Ever wonder how a Pacific Symphony season gets assembled? Tomorrow, meet the person who makes the magic happen! Eileen Jeanette, Vice President of Artistic Planning and Production, is Music Director Carl St.Clair’s right-hand woman. From hiring guest artists, producing tours, interfacing with the various performance venues and making sure our musicians have everything they need to tackle the next symphony, Eileen has her eyes and ears on everything you experience on stage.


Mixer #39: Jake Sustaita, Assistant Conductor - March 24, 2021

Jake Sustaita is the Symphony's Assistant Conductor, and Music Director of our Youth Orchestra - Roger Kalia's old position! We're excited to welcome and introduce this multi-faceted artist to our audience, as Principal Flute Ben Smolen hosts the Mixer this week. Jake also works with our many musical education programs, such as Strings for Generations.


Mixer #38: Rob Slack, Principal Percussion -  March 17, 2021

CRASH! SNAP! SIZZLE! When you experience a symphonic performance, sometimes the percussion section has the most impacting effect! Get a chance to learn more from Principal Percussionist Rob Slack at tomorrow's Symphony Mixer. Percussionists must be well-versed in a plethora of instruments including a variety of drums, mallet instruments, gongs and triangles and Slack brings command to it all. From the steady snare drum rhythm in Ravel's "Boléro" to a timpani battle from Nielsen's "Inextinguishable Symphony," discover how the percussion section can bring texture and color to the orchestra.


Mixer #37: Derrick Spiva Jr., Composer - March 10, 2021

Join Principal Flute Ben Smolen as he hosts one of today's most interesting composers, Derrick Spiva Jr. whose music has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "something to savor." Spiva is a passionate believer of music as a doorway into understanding other cultures and different ways of living and has received great acclaim for integrating the sounds of different musical cultures including Persian, West African, Balkan and Hindustani classical music. Spiva also leads an exclusive session for Pacific Symphony's Youth Ensembles Young Composer Project, which provides students with an exclusive introduction to professional music composition processes and practices.


Mixer #36: Cindy & Tony Ellis -  March 3, 2021

It's not often that you encounter married couples in a symphonic orchestra but tomorrow, you'll have the chance to hear directly from one in our very own Symphony! Meet Cindy and Tony Ellis, two of some of the Symphony's longtime musicians. Listen to some of the unique aspects of their relationship (like commuting to work!) and how they have been keeping busy during quarantine.


Mixer #35: Composers David Ludwig, Sheridan Seyfried, Amanda Harberg & Søren Nils Eichberg - Feb. 24, 2021

Concertmaster Dennis Kim hosts not one, not two but FOUR of today’s most in-demand composers! This thrilling panel features: David Serkin Ludwig, Sheridan Seyfried, Amanda Harberg and Søren Nils Eichberg. It’s not every day you can experience this plethora of musical knowledge!




Mixer #34: Jim Self, Principal Tuba - Feb. 17, 2021

You've seen Principal Tuba Jim Self on the concert stage but what you may not realize is you've probably heard him long before then. Known for playing the "Voice of the Mothership" in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," Jim is a veteran of thousands of motion pictures, television shows, records and tuba soloist on many prominent movies.


Mixer #33: Dr. Gregory X. Whitmore, PSYWE Music Director - Feb. 10, 2021

Dr. Gregory X. Whitmore is the music director of our Pacific Symphony Youth Ensemble, and has had an incredible history with conducting and touring with this award-winning ensemble. Gregg and Dennis, our concertmaster and host, discuss his tenure with the Symphony, the importance of diversity in composition and programming, and his thoughts and goals towards the future of classical music education.


Mixer #32: Mike & Ellie Gordon, Concertmaster Chair Sponsors - Feb. 3, 2021

When you open a program book and flip to the page with the orchestra roster, you've probably noticed some names in italics next to some of the musicians. You might remember the names "Eleanor and Mike Gordon Chair" next to "Dennis Kim, Concertmaster." Tomorrow is your chance to meet the incredible philanthropists that have been there from the beginning. Nearly twenty years ago, Mike and Ellie Gordon made an unprecedented commitment to underwrite the concertmaster chair in perpetuity. Their dedication to the Symphony has been long-lasting, as this conversation will show. Get ready for some nostalgia, fantastic anecdotes and some Pacific Symphony history!


Mixer #31: Alison Spaeth and Craig Hahn, Orchestra Librarian and Director of Orchestra Personnel - Jan. 27, 2021

In this behind-the-scenes Mixer episode, Concertmaster Dennis Kim sits down with two of our newest, and most crucial, members of the Symphony staff: Alison Spaeth, our Orchestra Librarian, and Craig Hahn, our Director of Orchestra Personnel. These two brilliant folks keep all the music and our musicians in check, make sure everything is prepared for concert night, and help us navigate our important health protocols, now and post--Covid.


Mix #30: Gary Good, Senior Executive for Special Campaigns & Major Gifts - Jan. 20, 2021

Gary Good is truly a one-of-a-kind individual, and we're so lucky that he's with the Symphony. Tune in for a jovial hour of fascinating stories, hilarious anecdotes and general encyclopedic knowledge of the world of classical music - hosted by Concertmaster Dennis Kim.


Mixer #29: Pacific Symphony You Ensembles Panel - Jan. 13, 2021

The road to becoming a professional musician on the concert stage begins at a very young age. With enough practice and a little bit of luck, earning a spot in one of Pacific Symphony's Youth Ensemble programs can give an aspiring musician the exposure and experience needed for the big leagues. Concertmaster Dennis Kim is joined by three former Pacific Symphony Youth Ensemble musicians, Sanghyun Kim, Danielle Liu and Megan Martono.


Mixer #28: Rob Istad, Artistic Director of Pacific Chorale - Jan. 6, 2021

Pacific Chorale Artistic Director Rob Istad joins Concertmaster Dennis Kim for a fascinating conversation about our organization's long-standing artistic partnership, how the Chorale has been staying virtually active, and how California arts organizations can rebuild after concerts start again.


Mixer #27: American Ballet Theatre Leaders - Dec. 23, 2020

"The Pacific Symphony is one of two organizations in the U.S. that I consider to be the foundation of touring companies in the U.S.. One is Pacific Symphony in Orange County, and the other is the Kennedy Center in Washington. Those are the book-ends of any touring season for any touring company." Join us as we welcome American Ballet Theatre leaders David LaMarche, Ormsby Wilkins and Charles Barker.


Mixer #26: Julie Ahn, Joanna Lee, Hanbyul Jang - Dec. 9, 2020

Three of our newest Symphony violinists join us for this in-depth discussion with Concertmaster Dennis Kim on what it takes to play for Pacific Symphony, musical upbringings, staying artistically active during quarantine, and some of their shared experiences in the orchestra.


Mixer #25: Rune Bergman, Calgary Philharmonic Music Director - Dec. 4, 2020

Rune Bergmann is the Calgary Philharmonic Music Director and Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland. An energetic and compelling figure on the podium, Norwegian conductor Rune Bergmann is a dynamic, versatile conductor with an extensive classical, romantic, operatic and contemporary repertoire. Considered among today’s most talented young Scandinavian conductors, his elegant interpretations and reputation as an inspiring and profound musician continue to attract the attention of orchestras throughout the world.


Mixer #24 with Joe Bein, Bein & Co. Violins - Nov. 18, 2020

Joe Bein of Bein & Co. has been in the violin business for his entire life, ushered in by his father's legendary Chicago violin store, Bein & Fushi. Together, he and Concertmaster Dennis Kim discuss Stradivarius violins: their legacy, their sound, and their impact on musical history.


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 and Conversations

Coffee & 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! 

Coffee & Conversations: John Forsyte and John Evans - March 13, 2021

Watch our two long-standing members of the Pacific Symphony family, Pacific Symphony President and CEO John Forsyte and Chair of the Board of Directors John Evans, as they delve into topics of live and virtual concert production, artistic programming considerations and the re-opening of the concert hall for the 2021-22 season.

Coffee & Conversations: Assistant Conductor Jacob Sustaita - Dec. 5, 2020

Meet Pacific Symphony's new Assistant Conductor and Youth Orchestra Music Director Jacob Sustaita! We are thrilled to have him join the Symphony Family and see him conduct in 2021. Get a sneak peek of his artistic plans with this video clip as we introduce him to our Governing Members.


Coffee & Conversations: Orchestra Operations 101 - Oct. 24, 2020

What does it take for your Pacific Symphony to perform on stage under the bright lights?  An orchestra operations team!  Join Director of Production Will Hunter, Director of Multimedia Operations William Pruett and Artistic and Operations Coordinator Dani Reynolds for Coffee & Conversations and learn the behind-the-scenes of production and the digital medium in "Orchestra Operations 101."


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!


Coffee & Conversations: 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.