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In truth, I became a conductor because deep down I wanted to conduct Brahms's four symphonies and Richard Strauss's tone poems.
I have enjoyed most particularly reading the correspondence between Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. The genuine friendship, competitiveness and support that thread through their communications are life lessons for us all.
My favorite designers are Levi Strauss and Fruit of the Loom.
I admire Johann Strauss a lot. I believe he was a genius of his time.
When I was 4 or 5, I attended my father's concerts. He very often played Strauss waltzes as encores and I saw something happening with the audience.
Where would I be without Johann Strauss's beautiful 'Blue Danube?' Without this piece of music I wouldn't be the man I am today. It's a tune that brings out the emotion in everyone and makes them want to waltz.
A hundred years ago, when Richard Strauss, who has already been quoted and already been heard today, and other creative people, laid the foundation stone for the joint assertion of their rights and interests, they had pioneering work ahead of them in Germany.
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.
I sing in languages that I speak. So when I'm singing a Schubert song, I know precisely what every word means and, you know, when it was composed and who was the poet and all of that and whether Strauss or Wagner or French Belioz, Duparc or Debussy or whatever.
I was so busy with my studies that I didn't have a musical idol as a teenager. Later, around my 20s, I suddenly discovered the Beatles and the Rolling Stones but I guess my musical idol has always been Strauss.
When I perform Strauss, it is as if the music fits me like a glove. My voice seems to lie in a happy area in this music, which is lyrical and passionate at the same time.
Kiri Te Kanawa
Well, I think the first piece of music I ever heard that I really loved was 'Salome's Dances' by Richard Strauss. I played that 12-inch, 78 record, and I stood up on an ottoman to play it on a big Victrola and I'd just keep playing it and playing it.
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