Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Julia Rose – Associate Principal French Horn

Welcome to day 3 of French Horn week!  Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Julia Rose – Associate Principal French Horn with the CSO. So glad the flute didn’t work out for her!



Hometown: Cannon Falls, Minnesota

Alma Mater: University of Wisconsin – Madison

Home Life: Julia has a husband and two children, Jack (8 years) and Judy (10 months).  They also have a very big, very affectionate 90-lb black lab / chow mix! (Very cute, too!)

Any fun hobbies? Yes – she’s an infant!

Why the French horn?  It was pretty! In 5th grade, I tried the flute, but couldn’t make a sound out of it, so I chose the French horn!

Instrument: I own 3- a Felix Cantesanu Horn as my primary instrument, a Finke Descant horn with Ron Pinc lead pipe, and a Rauch horn currently on the shelf as backup


How often do you practice? 3 hours / day Monday-Friday.  Weekends are tough with the kids, but I still try for 2 hours on the weekends.

Who are some of your favorite French horn players? John Zirbel, principal horn with the Montreal Symphony.  A former teacher of mine, and an incredible and inspiring musician.


With what other ensembles have you played?  New World Symphony in Miami, FL, Detroit Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony / Pops, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. (These days) other than the occasional freelance gig, I don’t play outside the CSO.  I occasionally perform for my church, but would love to play more chamber music.

What’s the best thing about performing in front of an audience?  We’re giving them pleasure.  People come to our concerts and want to be entertained.  This is their leisure activity.  Everybody’s stressed out – they come to our concerts to escape the bad things in life.  We’re part of what makes humanity human.  Work for me is a sort of escape.

Life is hard.  We work with the best that humanity has to offer, and I get to give the gift of it to others.  I love music!  It’s a privilege to have a job doing what I love.

Where’s the best place to perform outside of Columbus? Carnegie Hall in NYC for its great acoustics.

Any memorable performances? Rite of Spring (March 2013) – I FINALLY got to perform it! Also, I was the soloist in a performance of the Strauss 1st Concerto with the New World Symphony in 1997.  It was a transcendent experience – everything went right!  It was the perfect performance!

Which concert are you most looking forward to playing this year? Mozart – Father and Son with James Sommerville.  “He’s one of the best horn players out there.  I’ve been a fan of his since college.  An amazing musician!”


Year joined the CSO: 1997

What brought you to Columbus?  After three years with the New World Symphony in Miami, I auditioned for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and was the runner-up.  The lady who won the post, opted instead for a position playing in Philadelphia so it was offered to me.

Ohio Theatre or Southern Theatre? Southern

What should people in Columbus know about the Columbus Symphony Orchestra? 

It’s the best kept secret in this town.

Even with ups and downs the last several years, it’s virtually the same orchestra as when it was a 46-week orchestra.


What do you say to people who don’t think they like classical music?  If you’re on the fence, you should give it a chance.  It changes your mood – you can start in a bad mood and end up in a great mood afterwards. Don’t knock it until you try it.

If you don’t think you like it because you don’t know it, give it a chance!

Who’s your favorite composer? Mahler (at the moment)

What’s your favorite musical era? Romantic

What are your favorite pieces of music for the French horn? Anything Mahler, Brahms Horn Trio (Violin, Horn, Piano)

What French horn music should I have in my music library? Schumann Concert Piece for 4 horns and orchestra, Mozart Horn concertos, Richard Strauss horn concertos


Igor Stravinsky – Rite of spring: Genius?  Or just plain weird? Genius!

Oh yeah – I’m totally outnumbered on this one!  Come back tomorrow to meet Principal Gene Standley!

Bring on the Horns! (Preview) – Don’t Look ‘em in the Eyes – Erin LanoAdam KochJulia RoseGene Standley – Soul of the Orchestra – Thank you! 

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