In Hamburg, there are three major orchestras, an opera house, and one of the great concert-hall acoustics in Europe at the Laeiszhalle, in a town a fifth the size of London. And that’s not unusual....
Concert-going has become much less the thing to do, while people are still going to opera. This might be a harsh judgment, but it could easily happen that orchestras could slowly atrophy.
What appeals to me about an American music directorship is the involvement of the conductor with the orchestra and the community. I think that’s a fantastic thing. In Europe, being principal conductor means merely that...
I don’t like to hurry. I’m not a conductor of the fast, fiery romantic type. I prefer Bruckner, with the sincerity of his musical language and the huge time spans in which his ideas develop,...
I was told when I went for a life-insurance exam when I was 18 that I was not likely to live past 50, so I refused to pay the premium.
I frequently find after a rehearsal of a performance that I have more breath, and can walk better and climb stairs better than I could before. It’s as if I’ve expanded my lungs doing it....
People still call me the eternal amateur. After all, professionals are supposed to be able to conduct everything. But I can’t unless I feel some connection inside. Conducting is not an end in itself for...
Basically speaking, conducting is quite a healthy profession.
Beethoven, Schubert, Schoenberg, Berg imply a type of pianist who is intellectual. That’s not always associated with female soloists.
I can’t even touch another conductor’s baton. The center of gravity, the feel of the handle, puts me totally off.
I had a sense of debt to the medical profession and to surgery particularly. I would not be as ambient as I am without it.
If people had told me that I would have the stamina to conduct ‘Ring Cycles,’ I would have been amazed. I still am.
The most perfect expression of human behavior is a string quartet.
On the grounds of prestigious musical organizations that come and go, New York has the edge.
I guess, as a conductor, one goes in and out of fashion. Your career starts with a bang, everyone thinks you’re wonderful, and then with middle age, something happens and you go into the wilderness.
So I observe life a little bit, rather than participating in it.
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