A native of Nagoya, Japan, Beni Shinohara was educated at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where she studied violin with Yoshio Unno and Tatsuo Uzuka. She also studied extensively in Europe with Sandor Vegh and in the United States with Ruben Gonzalez, Sergiu Luca, Fredel Lack, and Kenneth Goldsmith.
Shinohara has been assistant concertmaster of San Francisco Ballet Orchestra since 1990. In addition, she has appeared as a soloist with Tokyo’s Metropolitan Symphony and IMAS Symphony Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, and Houston Ballet Orchestra. In 1988, she joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra where she holds the position of assistant principal second violin.
Currently, she also performs with many Bay Area chamber ensembles such as Marin Chamber Players, Gold Coast Chamber Players, and San Francisco Trio.
Her honors include First Prize in the Tokyo Metropolitan Young Artist Competition and the “Concert Ami” Concours. She was a finalist in the Viotti International Competition and appeared in Carnegie Hall’s International American Music Competition. In addition, Shinohara has premiered numerous twentieth-century Japanese composers’ works, performed at Gen-On Contemporary Composers Music Festival in Tokyo, and participated in the “Music Today” Concert Series under the direction of Toru Takemitsu. She performed the world premiere of Bay Area composer Charles Shere’s Violin Concerto with Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra.
Shinohara has been a faculty member at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. She is currently a co-director of the Sonoma State University String Orchestra.
She makes her home in Mill Valley with her husband Katsuto, their children Yuma and Reina, and their Flat-Coated Retriever, Chase.