I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.
Conductors must give unmistakable and suggestive signals to the orchestra, not choreography to the audience.
Technique is communication: the two words are synonymous in conductors.
The great leaders are like the best conductors - they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.
The conductor has the advantage of not seeing the audience.
Conductors' careers are made for the most part with 'Romantic' music. 'Classic' music eliminates the conductor; we do not remember him in it.
The great actors are the luminous ones. They are the great conductors of the stage.
I find little in the works of Beethoven, Berlioz, Wagner and others when they are led by a conductor who functions like a windmill.
Is it not the business of the conductor to convey to the public in its dramatic form the central idea of a composition; and how can he convey that idea successfully if he does not enter heart and soul into the life of the music and the tale it unfolds?
Only when every one of us and every nation learns the secret of love for all mankind will the world become a great orchestra, following the beat of the Greatest Conductor of all.
I don't feel that the conductor has real power. The orchestra has the power, and every member of it knows instantaneously if you're just beating time.
The director is a bit analogous to the conductor of a symphony orchestra. It's a collaborative adventure.
The principal task of a conductor is not to put himself in evidence but to disappear behind his functions as much as possible. We are pilots, not servants.
A good example of how it must have been is today's world of conducting, which is still utterly dominated by men, and the prejudice the few female conductors have to battle even today is astounding.
And if you are strong enough, then you can grow as a conductor more and more.
And at the same time, I had my very first concert at the age of 16. I hadn't heard a symphony orchestra before, and I was so deeply impressed I said I have to be a conductor.
Young conductors who are confident enough, they very often have success.
I was different from most young conductors today.
You hear the same work by different orchestras, different conductors, violinists, pianists, singers, and slowly, the work reveals itself and begins to live deeper in you.
Perhaps, once I am gone, the one thing I might be remembered for is having sung a great deal of Mahler with a great many phenomenal conductors. It is wonderful music, very spiritual.