Mozart makes you believe in God because it cannot be by chance that such a phenomenon arrives into this world and leaves such an unbounded number of unparalleled masterpieces.
I was born and trained to communicate music, just as the sons were born and trained to hunt, and I was lucky to have grown up in Hungary, a country that lives and breathes music-that has a passionate belief in the power of music as a celebration of life.
Fight the tendency to become complacent and do one kind of music - that is the death of a musician.
The joy of working with the Chicago Symphony was immeasureable.
Although both sides of my family were religious, I was never forced to practice the Jewish faith. I did not really rebel against it, but then, as today, I disliked organized religion. I have a strange inhibition about praying with others.
My entire learning process is slow, because I have no visual memory.
I have a theory that there is something abnormal about children who like to practice instruments They are either geniuses or, more often, completely untalented. I certainly did not like to practice, and the teacher who hit me, and the view of the park, did not help to improve my attitude.
The academy gave me a grounding in discipline and hard work that has sustained me throughout my life, and the lessons I learned there I now try to impress on young people.
Everyone says you have to be a specialist, and if you conduct Wagner you cannot conduct Mozart - this is nonsense.
The experience awakened 'my tremendous musical ambition, which has never subsided to this day.
I wanted to get away from my past and everything connected with it.
During the first six years of my life, Hungary was one of the most important components of the Habsburg dynasty's vast Austro-Hungarian Empire, but after World War I it became an independent national entity.
But one day, when I was still young, I was parted from my family and left my native country. I hunted and searched for music, and destiny turned me into the object of my hunt. The circumstances of life became my 'antlers' and prevented me from returning home.
Between the two men, somewhere, a truth is lying, and that is what I try to find.
I can only hope that neither of them was scarred by their upbringing.
Friends are very important to me, and I have always had many of them. There are probably many reasons why this is so, but two seem to me more valid than any of the others I am a naturally friendly person, and I hate to be alone.
After about six months, I told my mother that I wanted the lessons to stop, and she was intelligent enough not to force me to continue. Besides, the lessons cost money, which was anything but abundant in our household.
I would never have become music director of the Chicago Symphony, which would have been an extremely sad loss.
From Toscanini I learnt the essential and desperate seriousness of making music.
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