Interview(s) with Julie Landsman

I think that it goes without saying that Julie Landsman has had an incredible and inspiring career.

Julie was the principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for an incredible 25 years (1985-2010), a teacher at Julliard since 1989, and has long been a proponent of mind and body balance and conditioning in horn playing (and life)!

She recently gave a short but interesting interview over on that talks about some of her career highlights and her philosophies on playing, teaching, and general health and wellness.

One of my favorite things that she has done is her series of Caruso videos.

I’ve used Caruso studies in my own playing off and on, and while I think they have some definite caveats to be aware of, they are great exercises for targeting specific aspects of playing.

There is a book of Caruso studies, but the physical nature of many of these exercises really encourages learning with a qualified Caruso teacher. In the meantime, the Julie Landsman’s videos (and her Caruso practice schedule) can be a slow and thoughtful introduction into these exercises while minimizing the chance for injury.

Julie has also done a couple of very enjoyable Horn Hangouts with Sarah Willis.

Her first Horn Hangout, done with members of the New World Symphony in Miami, covers her audition at the Met, her overall approach to being the first woman in the brass section, Carmine Caruso (and his influence on her teaching and playing), and quite a few other things (aura fluffing!).

The second Horn Hangout is with several of her former students (who are also members of the Met Opera orchestra) – Michelle Baker, Anne Scharer, and Julia Pilant. This second Hangout covers some of the same topics, but there is also a lot more information about the challenges and rewards of playing opera along with several Julliard students performing excerpts and a massed horn choir at the end featuring around 60 horns!