San Francisco Symphony violin Dan Nobuhiko Smiley, with deep family connections to the orchestra, retires

Posted on: June 27, 2018

“San Francisco Symphony second violinist Dan Nobuhiko Smiley retires after the June 30 concert, the last of the season,” writes Leah Garchik in Monday’s (6/25) San Francisco Chronicle. “Smiley first played with the orchestra in 1974, when he was on summer break from Juilliard.” Smiley has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony since 1990. “His Symphony roots are entangled with those of other family members. His violist father joined the orchestra in 1962, so Smiley grew up, as did his sister, Mariko, attending concerts. Mariko plays violin with the Symphony, as does her husband, Sarn Oliver. Smiley’s wife is Symphony violinist Suzanne Leon; they met on the job. And Leon’s sister, Kelly Leon-Pearce, plays violin with the Symphony, too. ‘My family and work life have been braided together,’ he said in the [orchestra’s] program, ‘a natural blending for which I feel very fortunate.’ ”

Posted June 27, 2018