Meet the Musicians: Danielle Kuhlmann

Seattle Symphony Horn Danielle Kuhlmann exudes confidence, a trait she credits to her years studying music.

By Andrew Stiefel

Danielle Kuhlmann wants you to know that she loves her spice rack. Not a little. A lot. “I’m obsessively organized, and my spice rack is the crown jewel of my kitchen,” she explains.

Its neat labels, clean rows and perfect order enables an adventurous, creative freedom when she cooks. “I like to experiment with food because I love eating and I love food and I love flavors. I improvise as I go. Usually it's good, but sometimes it's terrible,” she laughs.

Her willingness to take risks could be connected to her years of studying music. “Playing the horn requires a lot of confidence and vulnerability at the same time,” she says. “I think, especially being a woman, that it’s been a huge help to put me out there in the world, to feel confident in my voice, in my opinions, my ideas.”

Danielle exudes confidence whenever she takes the stage. She is a Monday night regular at her favorite karaoke spot in Beacon Hill. “Anyone who will sing karaoke with me, I will sing karaoke with them,” she says. “My best karaoke partner is probably John Turman, third horn, who I sit next to in the orchestra. Our signature song is ‘Suddenly Seymour’ from Little Shop of Horrors.”

Despite her fearless attitude, Danielle says she still feels a sense of anticipation and excitement before concerts on stage at Benaroya Hall. For her, “it's more about sharing with the audience who we are as people and as musicians, individually, but also who we are as a symphony.”

“When we all come together to share that gift, there is nothing else like it. There are no other symphonies like ours, there are no other audiences like ours. That's what makes live music a beautiful experience.”

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Posted on October 21, 2019