We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Conductors Quotes from Anna Netrebko, Harriet Tubman, Zubin Mehta, Joshua Bell, Jeetendra. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.
There are two types of conductors. One is the good conductor who can do passionate music but also listen to the singers and do the orchestra. And then there are great conductors, who have their own opinion on the music, who are ruling everything – and not listening much to the singers, but the orchestra play amazingly.
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.
I think conductors do spend too little time with their orchestras.
So many times, I’ve seen conductors that, every time they have a thought, they stop the orchestra and say it, and I can see the orchestra rolling their eyes and saying, ‘Oh, God, he stopped again.’ So there’s a technique to rehearsing.
I enjoyed harassing tram conductors.
As I got older, I lived right next next to the Long Island Railroad, so in junior high and high school I’d just jump on the train with friends and head to the city. We’d run away from the conductors, hide from them in the bathroom. It was just what you did.
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.
The very first time I was on a car in Atlanta, I saw the conductor – all conductors are white – ask a Negro woman to get up and take a seat farther back in order to make a place for a white man. I have also seen white men requested to leave the Negro section of the car.
Carbon nanotubes are amazing because they’re really good electrical conductors, yet they are only a few atoms in diameter. You can make transistors out of them in the same way you can with silicon. At Berkeley, we made the narrowest device anybody had ever made. It was basically a single molecule.
Go to the young conductors who are not making it, and you will hear how we shouldn’t push ourselves or sell ourselves, how they don’t have the right connections and the right opportunities. Well, you can be sure they’ve had the opportunities.
Conducting, I tried it once off the cuff, and quickly realized there were subtle aspects that I was missing. There is a lot more to it that I was able to grasp simply by watching conductors.
The composers could no longer direct all performances in person, and so the responsibility of interpreting their works in the spirit in which they had been conceived was placed upon conductors.
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.
Good conductors know when to let an orchestra lead itself. Ninety percent of what a conductor does comes in the rehearsal – the vision, the structure, the architecture.
Many, many years ago, I was one of the few conductors who talked to the audience and now a lot of classical conductors have figured it out… otherwise, you just get the back of someone’s head playing music you could hear on a CD. It’s not enough anymore.
The great secret is that an orchestra can actually play without a conductor at all. Of course, a great conductor will have a concept and will help them play together and unify them. But there are conductors that actually inhibit the players from playing with each other properly.
I look at composers and conductors, anybody involved in music or writing or art in general; they got more done as they got older. If I can, I’ll be one of those people because what I do is my passion.
They gave me four weeks, and I asked if the first week could be just music with the two main conductors. So, the conductors came over to my home, and we worked in the music room, and I learned my two little songs.
Conductors’ careers are made for the most part with ‘Romantic’ music. ‘Classic’ music eliminates the conductor; we do not remember him in it.
I was different from most young conductors today.
Conductors must give unmistakable and suggestive signals to the orchestra – not choreography to the audience.
My father’s Alfred Newman – born in 1900, child prodigy at the piano, ended up in pit orchestras in the teens. I think he’s one of the youngest conductors to conduct Broadway and worked with George Gershwin and Jerome Kern and Cole Porter – went out with Irvin Berlin in 1930 to Hollywood and never left.
The great actors are the luminous ones. They are the great conductors of the stage.
My whole life, I’ve been watching conductors. I was 7 the first time I played with a conductor. Seeing the ones that do it well, it’s an amazing thing.
The intensity of being in front of all these incredible musicians and tremendous conductors in these elaborate halls can be overwhelming.
I’ve always been accused of moving around too much when I play concertos. Sometimes, conductors ask me which of us is leading.
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.
Conductors are performers.
Conductors start getting good when everybody else retires.
Few of us boggle – though we should – at the fact that Louis Armstrong sang and played trumpet with similar panache, or that Leonard Bernstein and Benjamin Britten were equally adept as composers, conductors and pianists.
I have a big problem with conductors who gesture a lot.
Young conductors who are confident enough, they very often have success.
Drummers are conductors – we set the pace for the music – so if you’re not relaxed and feeling right, the whole thing goes out the window.
Technique is communication: the two words are synonymous in conductors.
On the other hand, when I give it closer thought, I realize I’m not enough of a dictator to conduct an orchestra because it requires a pretty awful person. When you read these biographies of famous conductors, they are all awful people who fail in their private relationships.
Catalysts are the conductors who choreograph the chemical dance that results in the formation of new structures.
The great leaders are like the best conductors – they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.
I played with the best conductors of the world.
Conducting is a strange thing to teach. There are very few great conducting teachers, and most great conductors don’t teach. Look at Valery Gergiev – what he does is not teachable. A lot of it is on-the-job training, what works and what doesn’t work.
Conductors don’t suffer, they are part of the performance.
Good conductors know when to push and when to lay back. I’ve known so many great conductors that I’m still doing what I can to learn the craft of this role.
Composers are not all good conductors.
Directors have a tendency to use their hands like orchestra conductors. They don’t realize that the actor is looking at their faces, anyway.
When I was young, Tchaikovsky was ruined for me by conductors who made it slick and treacly. Hearing Valery Gergiev conduct Tchaikovsky has been a revelation – he brings out all its raw passion. And Gergiev with the super-virtuoso LSO – well, it’s just the perfect combination.