2005-08-20

Voices: Conducting

To conduct means to make manifest--without flaws--that which one has perfectly heard within oneself.
- Hermann Scherchen

The job on the podium is a difficult one because the conductor of an orchestra . . . is actually the embodiment of the composition.
- Robert Schumann

What we call 'conducting technique' is really the art of the zigzag. You're tracing a long, single line that corresponds to the movement in time of the entire piece. But for reasons of space we keep folding this line back on itself.
- Apo Hsu

The economical utilization of time is one of the most imperative requisites of the conductor's skill.
- Hector Berlioz

One of the problems with doing the music of living people is that the conductor doesn't get to play God.
- John Corigliano, NewMusicBox (February 2005 )

The real task of a conductor, in my opinion, is to make himself ostensibly quasi-useless.
- Franz Liszt

One cannot be humble enough before such a privilege of getting glory and acclaim, not only from using someone else's emotions, but also from having someone else express them for you.
- Dimitri Mitropoulos

I am not as humble as people say I am. One cannot be humble and be a conductor.
- Bernard Haitink

The city of Chicago should erect a statue to me.
- Sir Georg Solti

There is no performance of genius possible without temperament.
- Felix Weingartner

It is obvious that when seated the conductor loses some of his power and cannot give free rein to his personality (if he has any).
- Hector Berlioz

In my view it is an absolute necessity to combine God-given talent with hard-earned technical expertise . . . Learn to use the baton. It can and should be an extension of your mind and heart.
- Jonathan Sternberg

There are many composers who unknowingly ruin their best scores because they fancy themselves to be great conductors.
- Hector Berlioz

A tantrum doesn't make you Toscanini.
- Alton Thompson

Even the marvelous talents of the Boston players could not turn Mr. Ozawa's Mahler into a deeply spiritual experience, but, goodness knows, they tried.
- Bernard Holland, New York Times (30 June 2002)

Don't try to prove anything. The worst conductors are those who mount the podium to prove they're good conductors. Wait--forget that. The worst conductors are those trying to prove they aren't bad conductors.
- Frederik Prausnitz

I've never conducted anything more complicated than a yard sale.
- Harry Hewitt

Well, the conductor's job is not really that much different from a prostitute's. It consists of performing to make others happy, no matter how you feel yourself, and then passing the hat.
- Dimitri Mitropoulos

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