Category Archives: Quotes

The only calibration that counts

“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they … Continue reading

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“You think about the music … how lucky you are to be performing it”

There was an amusing interview with pianist Mitsuko Uchida in The Guardian last month. I happily discovered I share a couple of non-piano passions with her – the Tour de France and sudoku (“It keeps your mind alert but with … Continue reading

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Music from the head

“The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works exalt – they meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate and … Continue reading

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The silence and the sound

Sadness gives depth.  Happiness gives height.  Sadness gives roots.  Happiness gives branches.  Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth.  Both are needed, and the … Continue reading

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I emerge along with the bats

“I tend to follow a very nocturnal sort of existence, mainly because I don’t much care for sunlight. Bright colours of any kind depress me, in fact, and my moods are more or less inversely related to the clarity of … Continue reading

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Take a line for a walk

“When performing Bach one is constantly reminded of Paul Klee’s dictum that the art of drawing is ‘taking a line for a walk’.” ~ Peter Hill _______________________________________________________________ Quote by Peter Hill, in the liner notes of his recording of Bach’s … Continue reading

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Composers refuse to be bound by rules

“Some people will perhaps wonder why I have undertaken to write about music, there being so many works by outstanding men who have treated the subject most thoroughly and learnedly; and more especially, why I should be doing so just … Continue reading

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It’s okay to not love Beethoven

Tchaikovsky didn’t. He adored Mozart. And considered Bach, Handel, Gluck and Haydn mere forerunners to Mozart. From his diaries (1886):  “… I shall start with Beethoven, whom it is usual to praise unconditionally and whom it is commanded to worship … Continue reading

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Play until your fingers bleed

Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head.  Even when no one … Continue reading

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The terror of performing

“The terror of performing never goes away. Instead, you get very, very comfortable being terrified.” ~Eric Whitacre

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Memory: 3 Tips and 3 Posts

“For me there was something touching about seeing a great pianist play a Bach prelude and fugue using the score. Every wondrous element of this complex music is right on the page. It looks almost as beautiful as it sounds.”*  … Continue reading

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The loneliness of the artist

In the Abbey de Cuxa in Prades, I spent several glorious hours with the master of the cello. Our rapport was instantaneous – he trusted me to carry his cherished instrument. I was so moved on listening to him play … Continue reading

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