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Beni Shinohara

Assistant Principal Second Violin

A native of Nagoya, Japan, Beni Shinohara studied at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where she earned bachelor’s and master's degrees. She also studied extensively in Europe with Sandor Vegh before coming to the United States.


Beni joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 1988 and currently holds the position of Assistant Principal Second Violin. She has also been an Assistant Concertmaster in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra since 1990. 

She has performed with many Bay Area chamber ensembles, such as Marin Chamber Players, Gold Coast Chamber Players, the San Francisco Trio, and the Edgewood Trio.

In addition, Beni has premiered numerous twentieth-century Japanese composers’ works, participating in the "Music Today" Concert Series, under the direction of Toru Takemitsu, and the Gen-On Contemporary Composers Music Festival in Tokyo. She performed the world premiere of Bay Area composer Charles Shere’s Violin Concerto with the Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra.


She lives in Mill Valley with her husband Katsuto, and their Flat-Coated Retriever, Myla. She enjoys hikes, taking Pilates classes, and getting involved in the community- for example, by helping to curate the 142 Throckmorton Theatre’s weekly concert series. Recently, Beni and Myla have started the new adventure of agility training. They dream of one day participating in a competition!

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