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" A Beethoven symphony should be rehearsed like chamber music, only for a lot more people. "
" I found that jazz musicians, possibly more than their classical counterparts, wear long-standing friendships easily and gracefully. "
" I run around so much that I finally reasoned that composing is the one musical endeavour which you can do anywhere, anytime. "
" I have a great many shortcomings, but writing for something on time has never bothered me. "
" At MGM, you knew you were going to be working next year; you knew you were going to get paid. But I was too ambitious musically to settle for it. And I wanted to gamble with whatever talent I might have had. "
" I stuck around in Hollywood for too long. I was there a long time, and when I left, I was smart enough to realise that what I was leaving was not just the movie business. I wanted to get rid of the whole atmosphere. "
" I don't even have a cell phone. I don't know how they work. "
" I finally wasn't interested in writing music that played while actors talked. "
" People who don't do jazz think it's black magic. But really, it's just a matter of getting used to it. It's fun to gamble. The trick is not to fall back on the things you've done before. "
" When I composed, I heard my music played by the orchestra within days of completion of the score. No master at a conservatory, no matter how revered, can teach as much by verbal criticism as can a cold and analytical hearing of one's own music being played. "
" I've had the healthy and sobering experience of constantly working with music that is invariably better than any performance of it can be. "
" John Williams is, without question, talented. He writes very good scores and very good melodies and all that. "
" Elliott Carter does not write the kind of music that the kids go off to school whistling. "
" I admire Elliott Carter endlessly. But I have no ambitions to emulate him. "
" I don't write things that are wildly abstractly atonal. "
" When you're working with music that is invariably better than you are, it's difficult to become swell-headed. "