Whose House? Julian and Momoko’s House!

Photo by Callie Lugosi

When conductor/percussionist Julian Pellicano found out he was going to be the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s new resident conductor five years ago, he booked a three-day house-hunting trip.

Pellicano recalls, “Being a stupid American, I was like ‘July 1st is as good a day as any. Might as well go then.’”

His wife, violinist/violist Momoko Matsumura, was at home in Boston with their daughter frantically searching Kijiji for apartments on July 2. The last place of the day was an open viewing on Corydon. It was their best option.

“An eager beaver, I showed up at the office at like 7:30 (the next) morning with a New York Times and a cup of coffee, and I waited. When they finally opened, I think at 11 o’clock, somebody else walked in. I was like: ‘I GOT it! Yeah! Heh heh heh. In your face!’” Pellicano gloats.

Two years later, they moved into a cozy top-floor apartment in Osborne Village with a second daughter in tow.

Pellicano says, “The balcony on the top floor doesn’t have a roof, so in the summer, it’s like a terrace. You can just sit out there and look at the sky or the stars.”

Matsumura, a native of Osaka, Japan, and Pellicano, from Long Island, New York, have grown to love Winnipeg. But their girls, now four and eight, adore it.

“My older daughter said Winnipeg is the funnest place on earth,” Pellicano says.

Matsumura answers, “She loves winter. She’s like, ‘I can’t wait for winter to come!’”

Elegant elephants

JP: “We brought these from Boston, which I always loved. They’re super cool. They’re from this Danish mobile company that I thought was awesome. I think we bought it before we had kids. I just liked it.”


“JP: “People used to say when I had more hair that I kinda looked like Schubert. This Schubert looks like he’s wearing swimming goggles.”

Isola Ponza 1970

JP: “I have one painting there that’s done by one of my uncles in Italy. My parents had this. I don’t even know if they wanted it. I just took it, and I’ve always had it with me everywhere I go. He even wrote on it. Isola Ponza – I don’t know where that is – 1970.”

Relished relic

JP: “This watch was given to me by my great-uncle. He was the stationmaster of this small town in Italy called Alberobello. We really got along well so he always used to give me old relics of his stationmastering days. This is one of his watches. You can see it has the mark of the Ferrovie dello Stato on the back.”

Bring ‘em home

JP: “We bought those in Boston. It was a couple of years before we moved up here. When we found out we were moving to Canada, I was like, ‘Well, we have to bring the geese. We’ve gotta bring them home.’”

Tunnel tiles

JP: “These I bought in Orvieto in Umbria. I was there three years ago. It’s an Etruscan city on top of a butte. The ancient Etruscans ... built this tunnel city underneath and they found all this pottery ... in caves. They’re finding new caves all the time. There’s somebody in the city who’s making reproductions of those old designs.”

Published in Volume 73, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 15, 2018)

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