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Pacific Symphony adds members, raises funds

September 28, 2011

COSTA MESA — The Pacific Symphony welcomed two new members to its ranks and netted about $200,000 in an event last week.

The Costa Mesa-based orchestra, now in its 33rd season, will use the funds toward its artistic and educational programs, symphony officials said in a news release.

The "Masters of the Music" event on Sept. 22, which included a pre-concert dinner and post-concert reception, was part of the 2011-12 season opener series that featured violinist Sarah Chang.

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Di Shi was appointed to the assistant principal viola chair. The Chinese musician did graduate study at USC and has played with the San Diego Symphony and Santa Barbara Symphony.

Earlier this year, Shi also joined the viola section of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.

Benjamin Smolen was appointed as the new principal flutist. Smolen, who began his musical study at age 10 in North Carolina, has performed throughout the world.

He is an alumnus of Princeton University. He also studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the New England Conservatory in Boston.

—Bradley Zint

Twitter: @thedailypilot

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