Ida Houby, a native Dane, originally came to San Diego as a graduate student to study with renowned psychologists in the area and earn her Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
She met and married her American husband soon after, and has returned to Denmark only for visits.
Houby has been a practicing psychologist in Del Mar and Solana Beach since 1990 with special interest in life transitions and psycho-oncology, a subject she has taught along with research methodology at universities in the area.
Houby reconnected with her musical past (bachelor's in music education from the University of Copenhagen) when she joined the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus in 1997.
What brought you to Solana Beach?
I came here to study, and Solana Beach was conveniently located near my school. My husband and I found a little house to rent, and later bought the home where we now have lived for the past 25 years.
What makes Solana Beach special to you?
Solana Beach has preserved much of the unpretentiousness of its surfer town past. Also, it is a place where adventurousness, neighborliness and concern for quality of life flourishes. In addition, the closeness to the beach, San Elijo Lagoon, the North Coast Repertory Theatre, to name a few examples of the city's treasures, make Solana Beach a great place to live.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in Solana Beach?
I love the Coastal Trail along the east side of Highway 101. I wish there were a way of making the west side equally aesthetically pleasing and safe for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Who or what inspires you?
Being in nature, connecting with other beings and music making.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
I love being in the company of people with agile minds, enthusiasm for ideas and vivid imaginations. I am fortunate to have friends like that. But if I were to invite people I have still to meet, I think the invitations would go to Karen Blixen, Joseph Campbell, Maya Lin, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham and Sophocles. My husband and I would make eight.
What are you currently reading?
Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita."
What is your most prized possession?
My grand piano.
What do you do for fun?
Of my many pursuits, I think the most meaningful to me is being involved with the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, both as a soprano and as a member of the board of directors.
The La Jolla Symphony and Chorus is a community organization in the sense that its members generally are people with a career outside of music who, through dedication, talent and hard work, put on at least six concerts a year of professional caliber. These concerts, I think, are remarkable also in the sense that the programming is adventurous and creative.
The La Jolla Symphony and Chorus will be performing at the opening concert of the Spreckels Organ Festival at Balboa Park on June 22. We will be singing a program that features traditional and beautiful newer music which take advantage of the combination of voices and organ.
Please describe your greatest accomplishment.
Whenever someone who has come to me for professional help leaves our work together with an increased sense of self-acceptance, direction and vitality, I feel gratified and have a sense of shared accomplishment.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
Perhaps because of my work, I am often in touch with the ephemeral nature and fragility of life, and so my philosophy and my ambition are to be present in the moment.