Mary Anne Huntsman shares a few words which encapsulate who she is as a woman. Content. Eclectic. Loving.
Her favorite color is green. She loves anything curry or spicy, and daydreams about her travels to Hong Kong. They are the tiny details you won’t get anywhere else mostly because of who she is. At first glance you may or my not recognize her but attach the name to her picture perfect portrait and she is a spitting image of her mother. Need another nudge? The internationally renowned pianist is the daughter of former Utah Governor and one time Republican Presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman. Mary Anne, who goes by the nickname Mame for those who know her well has managed to redefine the illustrious Huntsman name for herself. But how? The 30 year-old opens up to HER Magazine about who she is without all the political strings, the challenges she’s faced as a young woman and candidly discusses a self-destructive emotion many women feel: jealousy.
What is it like to be the daughter of political heavyweight? How has that shaped your world and influenced the woman you’ve become today?
“Going to bed at night, my parents always asked me what I did that day to make someone else’s life a little better. That has shaped me more than anything in realizing that there’s no greater joy than trying to lift another up. That far surpasses anything else we do in life.”
How have you redefined the illustrious Huntsman name for yourself?
“I’ve always strived to be my own person. Growing up as the oldest Child probably put a greater responsibility in having to live up to the family name. I decided at an early age that I wanted to be a musician which was a different path than anyone else in my family. I’ve tried to bridge the different elements of my family around music and culture and be a catalyst for the many things my family has stood for.”
You’re a pianist and have performed in countries like France and China. What got you passionate about music?
“I knew at the age of 5 that I wanted to be a concert pianist. I would sit in my room listening to Concertos dreaming of soloing with major Orchestras someday. My parents said they walked in on me with tears down my face listening to Chopin’s piano Concerto No.2. I guess I would say i’ve been passionate about music my entire life.”
What are some challenges you’ve faced as a woman? And what changes do you think need to be made to help empower women in today’s world.
“Growing up as a pianist, I was always compared to the boys who had much more power in their hands than I did. I felt insecure for years and never thought I would match up as a woman. I have since gained the confidence to rise above it and not compare myself and to just do my best. No matter what profession a woman chooses, the most important thing is her confidence and belief in herself.”
More and more females want to make their mark. How can women help each other climb the ladder of success together?
“The most self destructive emotion one can feel is jealousy. What we can do as women to help each other become successful is to not compare ourselves to the next person but to strive to be our best self. The important thing is to find you.”
What would you say to young women who have big dreams but are too scared to just go for it? What helped you get past some of your fears? And did you have any?
“My dream as a young girl was to solo with a major Orchestra. I lost so many competitions in a row that I just wanted to give up piano. Something in my heart said no and kept me going. There were many quiet tears feeling I would never achieve my dream. After years of putting in hours a day into the piano, I had pretty much given up. One night in DC while performing at an Embassy, a major Conductor from Europe was listening. He then came up to me after and invited me to solo with his Orchestra. That was the beginning of a career I never thought would happen today. The most important thing is to never give up on a dream. Some of us are late bloomers:) Women should dream big and take away the fear factor and that’s your answer as to what you should be doing.”