In Tuesday’s (7/7) Desert Sun (Palm Springs, California), Bruce Fessier reports, “Edwin ‘Ben’ Benachowski, who reorganized Desert Symphony and conducted the desert’s only professional symphony for 20 years, died Monday of an apparent aortic aneurysm at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. He was 86. … Symphony spokesman John Hussar said the organization will continue with its 2009-2010 season, but he said ‘nothing has been decided’ about who will lead the symphony. He said the organization is in shock by Benachowski’s sudden death. … Ben Benachowski, a Juilliard School of Music graduate and clarinet player, moved with his wife to Indian Wells in 1985. He took over as music director of Desert Symphony in 1988 after an organization founded by Palm Springs resident Barbara Foster Henderson fell into disarray. … Benachowski recruited professional musicians from throughout Southern California, including members of the Los Angeles and Long Beach symphonies and the major movie studios, and many performed with the symphony for more than a decade.”

Posted July 8, 2009