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Danielle Kuhlmann
aka Velvet Barbie

Praised by the New York Times for her “fearless” and “seductive” playing, Danielle Kuhlmann has traveled the world, performing with symphony orchestras and in chamber music concerts throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. A native of Seattle, Washington, she completed her undergraduate degree with Jerome Ashby at the Juilliard School and pursued graduate studies at Rice University under William VerMeulen. Following several years as a freelance musician in New York and Seattle, Kuhlmann is now the 2nd Horn of the San Diego Symphony.

She has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Houston Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Colorado Symphony, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. An avid interpreter of new music, she is Principal Horn of the American Composers Orchestra, and performs with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). She has been a featured soloist with the Seattle and Manila Symphony Orchestras, Novus NY at Trinity Wall Street, and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, where she is also Principal Horn. In addition to classical performances, Danielle has been heard in various Broadway shows in New York City and on many video game and movie soundtracks. In 2013, she performed several cycles of Wagner's epic Der Ring des Nibelungen with Seattle Opera.

Devoted to philanthropic work, Kuhlmann has traveled to the Philippines four times, volunteering for the group Cultures in Harmony, a New York-based NGO that promotes cultural diplomacy through music. The group works with both professional and student-level musicians in Manila, as well as with indigenous youth. In January of 2011, she volunteered in Kabul, Afghanistan, teaching and performing at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.

A multifaceted musician and risk-taker, Danielle has a diverse array of experiences under her belt, both with and without her horn. Since 2008 she has been a member of the Brooklyn-based country rock band "Tatters & Rags." In 2009 she appeared on Amateur Night at the Apollo, singing Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart." Her performance was enthusiastically received, and she was not "walked off" the stage by the "Executioner." She considers it to be one of her greatest achievements.

Pursuing other non-musical interests as well, Danielle studied metalsmithing and jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She uses her skills to create each piece of Genghis Barbie jewelry and merchandise, as well as personalized items for exclusive use by the Barbies.