Telling It Like It Is – An interview with Julie Landsman

Julie LandsmanJulie Landsman, French hornist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 25 years until her retirement in 2010, is the subject of a wonderful interview in Allegro, the  magazine of AFM local 802.  She explains how she developed her career plan:

My first horn teacher was Mr. Howard Howard – yes that is his actual name! – throughout high school. Also, one of the biggest influences in my life as a young player was the presence of Carmine Caruso. Carmine used to come and work with our high school band and I have practiced his method since I was 12 years old. But Mr. Howard was the first horn player of the Metropolitan Opera. I went to the Met five times a week in standing room, and that is when I set my goal to be the first horn player of the Met. I had my eye on the chair.

When asked to explain the Caruso method [see also Lucinda Lewis’ article about Carmine Caruso’s method], Julie explained:

Rhythm, continuous blow, flexibility throughout all the registers with a very comfortable embouchure set, strength, endurance, great high chops, great low chops, just strong all over the horn – and playing music with abandon! Also subdivision, timing and coordination. Everything that the Caruso method has brought into my reflexive playing equals accuracy.

When asked what she stresses to her students after such an incredible career, she said:

I stress listening and creating a beautiful tone and using imagination and heart.

When asked what she looks forward to in this new phase in her career, Julie replied:

I look forward now to enjoying what I do and having fun playing music with people that I enjoy working with. This year I played principal horn with the Washington National Opera. One of my students is in the section. It’s so wonderful to be in a position as a mentor, to get to play with my students. It gives me tremendous satisfaction. I like passing on what I’ve learned. I like sharing it. It’s not something to keep for myself. I look forward to connecting with my audiences, with other performers, and especially passing it on to my beloved students.

Read the full interview here, from the October 2013 issue of Allegro, the magazine of the New York City musicians’ union (AFM Local 802).

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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