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Concertmaster Dennis Kim leaving the BPO for California post

Before joining the BPO, Dennis Kim was concertmaster of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland.

Dennis Kim, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's concertmaster, is going to be leaving.

He has been appointed concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony, based in Orange County, Calif. He begins in September for the start of the orchestra's 40th anniversary season.

Kim, 43, was appointed to the BPO post in spring 2015.

Born in Korea, Kim grew up in Canada and was trained at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. At 22, he became concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. After that, he served as concertmaster with orchestras including the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Before joining the BPO, he was concertmaster of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland.

His new job in California is considered a step up because the Pacific Symphony's budget is significantly more than the BPO's.

During the past season, Kim -- who is married with two young daughters -- served as concertmaster for the Pacific Symphony for three concerts, including a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

“In Dennis Kim, I welcome a brilliant violinist, consummate musician and a dedicated musical partner,” Carl St. Clair, the Pacific Symphony's music director, said in a statement announcing Kim's appointment. “As one who has been concertmaster of leading international orchestras, he is just the right artist to lead Pacific Symphony and its wonderful musicians toward all our musical aspirations.”

Kim, in turn, said: “I am excited and honored to take this important position with Pacific Symphony." He added: "When Carl and I first worked together, there was an instant spark and both of us knew there was a special chemistry in our music making.”

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