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" I think Beethoven means dissonances to be more stressed than consonances - it's the shock tactician in him. "
" If you receive a whole string of bad reviews, you have to say, 'O.K., maybe there's something here we should pay attention to.' "
" There are a few great orchestras in the world, thank goodness. Although some people do put them in ranking order, it's not like a snooker match. Each orchestra has different things to offer. "
" Sometimes, musicians worry too much about how beautifully they are playing. "
" The music lovers of London and the country deserve to have something where orchestras can flourish. You have no idea how wonderful an orchestra like the London Symphony Orchestra can sound in a great concert hall. "
" Liverpool is off the side of the known universe, and it always was. New York is the only other place comparable. "
" One of the most extraordinary and all-encompassing forms of communication is music. It reaches places that all kinds of other things cannot reach. I'll put my cards on the table: I think it is our greatest language. "
" We have to be evangelists for music. We couldn't just be high priests of music. "
" The necessity for rules and strictness is a way of dealing with an enormously powerful impulse: Germans are among the most emotional people on the planet. Maybe it has to do with the fact that, as a nation, they are always drawn back to nature and the forest. "
" I was thrilled that Sadiq Khan was so in support of the idea of culture being at the centre of a city and the idea that it is everyone's right. It can't be a matter of privilege or chance. It should be something everyone can have in their life, and that means knowing what it is. "
" Beethoven was always too much. He's not slightly anything - he's very everything. "
" The jazz records come out a lot. You find that with many musicians - we don't listen to our own music for relaxation. "
" It's interesting: composers can be very funny ducks. "
" I was a harpsichordist in my teens, and there was a bunch of us in Liverpool who got together every week to play Bach. "
" Always the journey, never the destination. "
" There is a mysterious way in which orchestras keep a sense of their history and what they've done. I still listen to the L.A. Philharmonic and feel that Giulini was there. "
" One of the most difficult things in opera is for people to suspend disbelief. "
" I believe if you're not completely in love with what you're doing, you'd better find another profession. "
" As an older dad you can certainly get down on the floor. The problem is can you get up again? "
" Conducting 'Tristan' is like floating in amniotic fluid, but having worked on it for three months, I now know why people who go near it go so strange. "
" As a Liverpool boy, it is impossible not to think of the Beatles' question, 'Will you still need me when I'm 64?' "
" Conductors start getting good when everybody else retires. "
" In my mid-twenties, I was with a conducting career, but I had never been to university and I wanted to. There were things I wanted to study in depth. I also wanted to see if I could survive without music. "
" My worst and best qualities are rashness: the good part of it is due to youth, which is, of course, why I'm not a great conductor. "
" With these big Wagner pieces, if I haven't started three years before, I'm screwed. You need time to look at the piece again and again and again, and then, like some fantastic casserole or spaghetti sauce, put it back in the fridge and let the flavours get together. "
" Every orchestra has its own sound. "
" The better the orchestra, often the harder it is to conduct, not the other way around. "
" I am old enough to remember the enormous fight over Tate Modern. It is such a part of our cultural landscape now, we forget the opposition to it. "
" If you think the music business is the be-all and end-all of life, you're in big trouble. "
" I love Mozart, but I often make a terrible hash of it. "
" Conductors make too much fuss about conductors! Humility and hard work are virtues. We're nothing without our musicians. "