Multi-Talented Music Instructor Christina Landolt

Andover students know Instructor in Music Christina Landolt as a music teacher, conductor of the Amadeus Ensemble and house counselor. Since the age of three, Landolt has gradually nurtured her musical talent in piano, cello, and eventually, composing and conducting. Landolt said, “I feel passionately about each one on different days.” At the age of three, Landolt began playing the piano. “At that point, I was playing to play, just enjoying music and getting as much out of it as I could. I have a lot of family members who play music and work in music, namely teaching, so I had a sense of what I could do with it.” By the age of seven, Landolt decided she wanted to try out the cello, and she started composing at the age of nine. She said, “It came out of not really liking to practice that much. I would make things up and see where [they] lead. I wasn’t really thinking, ‘Oh, I’m composing now.’ It just came out.” In college, Landolt pursued a major in film music, then switched to composition. “I’ve played some [of my works, and] I‘ve had other ones performed. That happened a lot in college because there was a large community of musicians who were trying to get your music.” “I’m working on a composition right now that’s turning into somewhat of a ballet. At some point, that may be performed maybe here, maybe somewhere else. It requires a lot of work to get things performed.” Composing an original piece may seem daunting to many. Landolt often begins a composition at the piano. “I was playing that since I was three, so it’s a really natural element for me. There isn’t a typical way things start. If it’s a big piece, it requires a lot of structure before I start. Sometimes, I’m just sitting on the piano, and I like the way something sounds.” Like any true artist, Landolt admits that she tends to “have a lot of napkins with all sorts of things written on them, and scrap paper.” Landolt also draws inspiration from others’ work, even those she dislikes. “Any that I immediately love or immediately hate is enough to inspire me,” said Landolt. As a conductor, Landolt looks to Carlos Bieber for inspiration. She said, “I am absolutely infatuated with Carlos Kleiber, who is actually not that well known. He absolutely shows the music with his body movements. He scarcely gets out a beat pattern, because it’s just not that important to him. It’s much more about expressing physically what the sound is that he wants.” Landolt considers her greatest accomplishment the fact that she has continued in music throughout her life, “even when I just want to scream and give up.” For most musicians, entering and remaining in the competitive world of music takes much courage.“I remember being a kid and really struggling to shift to second position, which now, I laugh at. But I remember learning, ‘Okay, it’s not going to get any better. I’m going to put it away for now and go to sleep,’ and the next day I would be able to do it. That’s getting yourself to pick the instrument back up even though it can be discouraging sometimes.” To her aspiring music students, she says, “Listen, listen, listen and listen. [Music takes] lots and lots of hard work. Using your ears and actually listening to what everything sounds like is the best way to make music.”