Don't be too dismissive of children. While it's true that few children are artists, all artists are children.
Arguably, no artist grows up: If he sheds the perceptions of childhood, he ceases being an artist.
It's not evil that's ruining the earth, but mediocrity. The crime is not that Nero played while Rome burned, but that he played badly.
Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced.
Music is the sole art which evokes nostalgia for the future.
Nothing is a waste that makes a memory.
Divine fires do not blaze each day but an artist functions in their afterglow, hoping for their recurrence.
If music could be translated into human speech, it would no longer need to exist.
The art of translation lies less in knowing the other language than in knowing your own.
The beautiful are shyer than the ugly, for they move in a world that does not ask for beauty.
Quarrels in France strengthen a love affair, in America they end it.
composition is notation of distortion of what composers think they've heard before. Masterpieces are marvelous misquotations.
Humor is the ability to see three sides to one coin.
In music the present is extended.
If a composer could state in words what being a composer means, he would no longer need to be a composer.
To start writing about your life is, from one standpoint, to stop living it. You must avoid adventures today so as to make time for registering those of yesterday.
Bel canto is to opera what pole-vaulting is to ballet.
All men are forced into one of two categories: those with eleven fingers and those without.
To see itself through, music must have idea or magic. ... Music with neither dies young though rich.
Intelligence is silence, truth is being invisible. But what a racket I make in declaring this.
The Great don't innovate, they fertilize seeds planted by lackeys, they leave to others the inhaling of the flowers whose roots they've manured. A deceptive memory may be the key to their originality.
Art's the biggest vanity: the assumption that one's view of peace or fright or beauty is permanently communicable.
Art means to dare - and to have been right.
Sooner or later you've heard all your best friends have to say. Then comes the tolerance of real love.
Artists, by definition innocent, don't steal. But they do borrow without giving back.
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