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Composers quotes

The artist’s soul

There is, behind the soul and the whole life of the artist, perhaps a suffering soul … The moment one day will come in which perhaps yourself – if you possess a soul as I wish to believe – you will be able to see through feeling without any explanation. – Dimitri Mitropoulos to Leonard […]

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Performers and performances

“Didn’t you like it?”

Leonard Bernstein and Mildred Spiegel attended the Boston Symphony Orchestra season in 1933. They sat, she remembers, in the second balcony “under one of the male Greek nude statues.” One evening, during a standing ovation for the orchestra’s music director, Serge Koussevitzky, Lenny “just sat there” clapping very softly. “What’s the matter,” I asked, “didn’t […]

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The creative process

Achieving great things

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein

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Performers and performances

The art of playing the triangle

George Plimpton, a writer and sportsman, asked if he could play in the New York Philharmonic for a month to write about the workings of an orchestra.  Leonard Bernstein assigned him to the percussion section.  The principal percussionist, Walter Rosenberg, recalled his experience: During rehearsals I would lean over and point to where we were […]

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Performers

Bernstein on immersive performance

It happens because you identify so completely with the composer, you’ve studied him so intently, that it’s as though you’ve written the piece yourself. You completely forget who you are or where you are and you write the piece write there. You just make it up as though you never heard it before. Because you […]

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Composers quotes

Bernstein’s response to violence

This will be our response to violence To make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.  – Leonard Bernstein.

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Composers quotes

Bernstein’s Workroom

Leonard Bernstein’s children have donated the contents of his main composing studio to Indiana University.   The contents include “Bernstein’s stand-up composing table; a conducting stool that may have been used by Brahms, given as a gift by the Vienna Philharmonic; an electric pencil sharpener; a telephone; an ashtray and disposable lighters; Grammy-nomination plaques; and […]

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Performers

The technique of conducting

“Technique is communication: the two words are synonymous in conductors.” – Leonard Bernstein, conductor, composer and pianist. Cited at QuotationsBook.