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" We all need strategies for facing unknown repertory. "
" I find composition difficult. I never thought of myself as someone who can crank it out. I can't crank it out - I have to dig it out the hard way. In some sense, you become more confident in your technical apparatus, but it becomes harder to do something you haven't done already. "
" I want to know exactly how the first few measures are going to go, and the rough shape of a movement or the whole piece and its essential character. "
" I don't think music teaches about mundane, everyday life. It teaches us what it is to be a human being. "
" I do believe that the Chinese are becoming international leaders in showing the way forward for concert music. "
" The only way for me to compose is intensively. To pick at it over a long period doesn't seem to work. "
" My own personal melting pot has no room for Hendrix or heavy metal, filled as it is with European ancestors such as Debussy, Sibelius, Bartok, Lutoslawski, and Ligeti. "
" One kind of artist is always striving to annihilate the past, to make the world anew in each new work, and so to triumph over the dead weight of routine. I am the other kind... who only sees his way forward by standing on the shoulders of those who have already cleared the path ahead. "
" On my mental iPod, I always have Stravinsky and Ravel. "
" I think a great piece, whenever it was written, gets under our skin, makes us feel something. That's what Beethoven was trying to do. "
" I'm trying to do the exact thing Verdi or Mendelssohn did - open up that spiritual space where we can all be fully ourselves. "
" I have a tendency to postpone starting a piece until it's kicked around in my head a little bit. "
" If you haven't heard my music before, 'Spirit Voices' is a great place to start. "
" Pulitzers are journalist-oriented, so the publicity machine kicks in for about two days. Then, you go back to normal. "
" Yehudi Wyner has reinvented for himself a Romanticism that somehow manages to seem like a step forward rather than a step back. "
" Whatever the raw material, the material itself is unimportant until it's catalyzed by emotional fervor. So in the ideal exchange between me and my listeners, they wouldn't 'figure out' my music. They would feel their pulse racing and the hair standing up on the backs of their necks. "
" Americans' distrust of the conspicuously intellectual - a habit we learned, I suppose, on the frontier, but which remains a feature of the national character - has the virtue of puncturing the pretentious and exposing the fake, but it may also have impaired American listeners' patience for music that is especially complex or austere. "
" It's not possible to build a piece that stands successfully without talking about its shape. But if you talk too much, you lead people away from the music itself. "
" The general direction seems to be becoming fairly clear to me, but every new piece is a small adventure. "