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Meredith Crawford
Viola

Mer is Principal Viola of the Pacific Symphony. Salastina audiences love her for the way musicality seems to flow effortlessly out of her every pore. She completed her senior year at Oberlin after winning the first professional orchestra audition she'd ever taken. Let the viola jokes fly: she's a goddess, and everyone in our musical community agrees. 

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Benjamin Smolen
Flute

Ben is Principal Flute of the Pacific Symphony. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. This slouch went to Princeton and speaks Russian, having survived a stint at the Moscow Conservatory. Ben is able to coax so much more color and emotion from the flute than most other flutists can. But good luck getting him to say more than ten words about himself. 

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Brian Lauritzen
Host & Artistic Partner

Brian has been Salastina’s musical docent since the 2012/2013 season. A DJ for Classical KUSC, his work has been broadcast internationally by NPR and American Public Media. He's a staunch advocate of gender and racial equality in music. We are so grateful for the perspective and integrity Brian brings to Salastina's vision. He also has a killer sock collection. 

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HyeJin Kim
Piano

Born in Seoul, HyeJin furthered her studies in Germany at Berlin’s Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. She is also a recent graduate of the Colburn School. We love how HyeJin marries a warm, collaborative approach with intense star power. The piano is truly something she plays; the wonderfully dynamic facial expressions she makes show just how much fun she's having. 

 

 

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Yoshika Masuda
Cello

Yoshi is Chair of Strings at California Lutheran University. He is also a member of Sakura, a cello quintet consisting entirely of other heartbreakers. Born in Japan, Yoshi grew up in Australia and England. His resulting delightful accent is among the least of his many charms. We love how his playing sounds, and feels, like an invitation.