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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.
The great leaders are like the best conductors - they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.
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.
The great actors are the luminous ones. They are the great conductors of the stage.
Conductors' careers are made for the most part with 'Romantic' music. 'Classic' music eliminates the conductor; we do not remember him in it.
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.
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.
Ray Stannard Baker
Conductors must give unmistakable and suggestive signals to the orchestra - not choreography to the audience.
The intensity of being in front of all these incredible musicians and tremendous conductors in these elaborate halls can be overwhelming.
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.
David Ogden Stiers
Technique is communication: the two words are synonymous in conductors.
I have a big problem with conductors who gesture a lot.
I played with the best conductors of the world.
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.
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.
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.
Lara St. John
Young conductors who are confident enough, they very often have success.
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.
Directors have a tendency to use their hands like orchestra conductors. They don't realize that the actor is looking at their faces, anyway.
Alan J. Pakula
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.
I think conductors do spend too little time with their orchestras.
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.
Conductors are performers.
Michael Tilson Thomas
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.
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.
C. S. Lewis
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