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Pianists call me a composer, composers call me a pianist. The classicists think me a futurist, and the futurists call me a reactionary.
In my next lifetime, I want to come back as a composer.
I dream of a collaboration that would finally be total, in which the librettist would often think as a composer and the composer as a librettist.
I am but an architectural composer.
Alexander Jackson Davis
I can think and play stuff in classical music that possibly violinists who didn't have access to other types of music could never do. It means I'm more flexible within classical music, to be a servant to the composer.
If I do a play, it's my vision, and everybody else is working on the production to support that. If I do an opera, I feel like part of my job is to support that composer, to try and create something that allows the composer to do his or her best work. In movies, it's usually the director.
David Henry Hwang
The great opera composers were so good at their job, that the whole genre came to be built around the concept of the composer's vision.
I've been kind of listening to the composer Britten and his rendition of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' The opening track is a choral section where all the weird fairies, who are played by kids in the production, sing. It's a crazy opening melody and chord sequence - really amazing.
Every time I see a film or TV show, I think about how that composer made those choices and how that director envisioned music and how that could work onstage or in a film and how you could support that even further by putting lyrics to it.
When my opera Plump Jack was performed in 1989, my first piano teacher sent me something that I'd composed when I was four. I remember I played it, and it still sounded like me. I'm the same composer I was then.
I think it's good for the composer to teach because you always have new students and you have to begin at the beginning and make things clear.
You become a great composer when you win a Pulitzer. But I think that now it's a completely meaningless award.
Matisse was my God. I'm a French artist, that's for sure. I am color-oriented and what you might call a composer. I am not pouring my guts out; I keep them inside.
As far as rock groups, I really like Stone Temple Pilots. As for classical composers, it's Bach. I love Paganini, too, the Italian composer who would break strings during a performance and finish playing on just one string. Someone I would have loved to play with is Jimi Hendrix.
A composer knows that music is written by human beings for human beings and that music is a continuation of life, not something separated from it.
That is basically me, and although I have done many things in my life - conducting, playing piano, and so on - what is fundamental is my being a composer.
I've come up with another formulation about style: that it's essentially a manifestation of a certain habitual set of limitations. It's what a composer does NOT do that defines a style.
What is music about? You can't listen to one era, one composer, and know what music is about.
I think it's really the job of the composer, the artist, the painter, the writer to present people with options. I'm just really reflecting the thoughts and actions around me.
Soon, I knew that I would become a chemist, rather than a composer.
The field of the novel is very rich. If you're a composer, you're well aware of the history of composition, and you are trying to make your music part of that history. You're not ahistorical. In the same way, I think, if you write now, you are writing in the historical context of what the novel has been and what possibilities it has revealed.
As a major contemporary composer, Madonna should not let the eye dictate to the ear.
'Neverwhere,' by Benjamin Millepied, is set to his favorite composer, Nico Muhly.
I am under no illusion that I will ever be the greatest opera composer in the world, with Wagner and Verdi and Strauss before me. I think my work could fit very nicely into musicals, though.
The more dollars the studio producers put in, the less freedom we have. If the budget hits $100m, they get scared - they'll take the existing score of a successful movie and expect composers to copy it, like wallpaper. The biggest challenge for any composer in Hollywood is to be as creative as possible within those boundaries.
A. R. Rahman
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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