10 Questions: La Jolla Music Society’s new director, Kristin Lancino, knows performing arts world


Kristin Lancino is the new director of La Jolla Music Society, moving to town after a serving as an independent artistic & strategic consultant, with a three-decade career in the arts. Previously, Lancino was the executive director of IMG Artists, overseeing the artist management divisions for North and South America.

Prior, she was vice-president for G. Schirmer Inc., North America’s most vital music publishing company. At Schirmer, she conceived and developed “Scores on Demand,” and worked to negotiate complex media and copyright issues across all areas of the performing arts, including opera and ballet.

As a consultant, she served as interim artistic director for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, helping with long-range institutional planning, international touring, artistic programing and commissioning projects. She also served for 14 years at Carnegie Hall, as director of artistic planning, where she developed professional training workshops that were led by artists such as Pierre Boulez, Alfred Brendel, Marilyn Horne and Isaac Stern, as well as renewing the tradition of family concerts and directing the Carnegie Hall/Rockefeller International American Music Competition.

• Who or what inspires you?

What inspires me is simplicity and straightforwardness. Like when your child asks you a question about life or when you witness kindness between people.

• If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

If you are suggesting I host rather than cook or clean up, that is pivotal information. In that scenario, I would then host my recently “late” father, Jack, and his mother, “Muz.” Dad was an amazing Episcopal priest and family counselor, and his mother was the most terrific pain in the a I will ever meet. I just loved her. I would also like to include Pope Francis and Mother Teresa. While I am beginning to sound quite religious, I’m actually someone who is driven more by issues of humanity, more than most anything else. I would gratefully include in this guest list Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Walker. And, as the staff at La Jolla Music Society knows, I also have a soft spot for the trials of Harry Potter; his participation would be fun … add my husband, Thierry, too.

• What are you currently reading?

It’s a book called “Quiet,” by Susan Cain. Look it up and know why.

• What is it that you most dislike?

Anyone passionately “disliking.”

• What is your most-prized possession?

I prize both my family memories and my memory.

• What do you do for fun?

I love to wake up early when the rest of the household is totally asleep.

• What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Don’t look left or right, just look forward.

• What would be your dream vacation?

A house in France for months with friends and family visiting, cooking, enjoying each other’s company — with lots of cheese, baguettes and wine — and a couple of bicycles.

• What clothing item in your closet will you never part with?

A wool, red and green kilt my mother made for me when I was in high school; all plaids matching perfectly and there is kilt pin and fringe, too. What a talented, creative woman she is — and a superb baker, too!

• What are your favorite comfort foods?

French fries, pizza, my husband’s Bolognese sauce or his homemade mac and cheese — clearly not the best health choices, but you asked!