Ana Landauer is principal second violinist of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and is an active chamber musician in the greater Los Angeles area. Before performing for the Zócalo/Artistic Soirées event “How Immigrants Composed L.A.,” presented in partnership with ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Landauer sat down in our green room to tell us her violin origin story, her favorite venue to perform at, and how the pandemic changed her perception of performance.
What is your favorite place to go in Los Angeles?
I work so much in Los Angeles that I don’t have a place to just go and hang out. I work at the [L.A. ] Opera—I love the opera, and I love playing there. And even when we are not playing, we go there to see shows.
When did you start playing music?
I started playing piano when I was 6 because my parents are both musicians—my mom is a pianist, and my dad is a violinist. My sister is older, and she was already playing the piano. So they thought the second one should play something else, and my dad switched me to violin at the age of 7. When I wanted to change and do something else by the time I was 16 and almost an adult, I thought to myself: I’ve already put [so many] years into this!
What is your advice to young violinists?
Quit and get a real job! It’s crazy hard work. I’ve always compared it to gymnasts who have to work every day. If you don’t practice for one day, you feel it; and when you don’t practice for two days, the audience feels it. Just know that’s going to be your life.
You’re Armenian. Where do you go to find good Armenian food in L.A.?
Glendale—pretty much anywhere in Glendale is Armenian! The famous one is Carousel. And there’s also Raffi’s Place, for Mediterranean.
How has the pandemic changed your perception on performing?
It was hard for us because the first thing that went was live performance, simply because the number of people who attend. And it was the last thing that came back. We were off for about 18 months without any work. It really makes you appreciate it more. We used to take it for granted and complain about everything; now, we’re really looking forward to it.
What is one of your favorite venues that you’ve played at?
I would say playing at Disney Hall is a treat, because of the acoustics and how beautiful it is. Out of Los Angeles venues, that would be it.
What is your favorite place to practice?
At home. I feel most comfortable at home in my studio.
Where can we find you on a typical Sunday?
At the opera. We perform on Sundays.