There is no such thing as perfection, there are only standards. And after you have set a standard you learn that it was not high enough. You want to surpass it.
Practice like it means everything in the world to you. Perform like you don't give a damn.
If I don't practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.
There is no top. There are always further heights to reach.
I occasionally play works by contemporary composers and for two reasons. First to discourage the composer from writing any more and secondly to remind myself how much I appreciate Beethoven.
No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other.
Criticism does not disturb me, for I am my own severest critic. Always in my playing I strive to surpass myself, and it is this constant struggle that makes music fascinating to me.
The discipline of practice every day is essential. When I skip a day, I notice a difference in my playing. After two days, the critics notice, and after three days, so does the audience.
Music has a lot in common with mathematics. But in music, two and two need not make four: they add up to whatever you wish.
If the Almighty himself played the violin, the credits would still read 'Rubinstein, God, and Piatigorsky', in that order.
Can you appreciate music without playing it? Yes, you can. You can appreciate baseball without playing it. Many people attend a football game merely for the crowd, the excitement, the color.
When people come to play music as they do to play bridge, civilization will have taken the longest stride forward since the beginning of time.
I have discovered three things which know no geographical borders - classical music, American jazz, and applause as the sign of the public's favor.
Just make it (his obituary): born in Russia, first lesson at 3, debut at 7, debut in America in 1917.
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