Becoming Exceptional: From Julliard to the MET – with Barbara Jöstlein Currie

Becoming Exceptional: From Julliard to the MET - with Barbara Jöstlein Currie

In this episode Barbara Jöstlein Currie shares what it takes to be a professional musician at the MET, her top tips for calming the inner critic and developing a winning audition mindset and how the MET’s rigorous blind audition process is changing the gender of orchestra.

Barbara is the 4th French Horn of the MET Orchestra since 1999. Barbara has played with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, performed in movies such as True Grit and Contagion, and attended The Juilliard School on a full scholarship. When not performing at the MET she enjoys living in NYC with her husband and three children.

Episode Highlights

• 0:20 – How Barbara got her start in music and why she chose the French horn
• 2:42 – The surprising role Barbara’s European heritage played in her finding classical music
• 4:15 – What it’s really like auditioning Juilliard
• 7:45 – Why it’s hard to shake the imposter syndrome, even after Juilliard and the MET
• 8:48 – Why Barbara says no matter how talented you are, luck always plays a role in success
• 15:20 – Barbara’s top tips for calming the inner critic and developing a winning audition mindset
• 20:00 – The secret morse code her husband uses to support her during auditions
• 21:15 – How the MET’s rigorous blind audition process is changing the gender of orchestra (in the 70’s it was almost all men, today it’s 50% women)
• 22:58 – What it takes to be a professional musician at the MET and the personality type that thrives above all others
• 38:00 – Why high achieving women still do most of the family stuff
• 42:00 – Barbara’s advice for someone who wants to follow in her footsteps

1. Favorite book for women?

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • Getting a massage (for $39)!

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “You’re going to be nervous, just expect that to happen and then it’s not going to be scary” (her brother, Thomas)

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

  • Her past female teachers, and friend Sarah Willis

5. One piece of advice you’d give your 5 years younger self?

  • “Try to balance things better”

Resources and People Mentioned

• Barbara’s Facebook
• The Met Orchestra Website & Blog
• Principal French horn at the Met for 25 years – Julie Landsman
• Author and performance coach – Don Greene

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Breaking the Silence: A Crucible, Triumph and Memoir – with Shannon Hernandez | Episode 42

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