Leonard Bernstein quotes

  • Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Music #Communication #Talking

  • To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Time #Stress #Humor

  • This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Music #Peace #Ubuntu

  • A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Children #Men #Night

  • The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another... and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Artist #Keys #Giving

  • You can sit there, tense and worried, freezing the creative energies, or you can start writing something. It doesn't matter what. In five or ten minutes, the imagination will heat, the tightness will fade, and a certain spirit and rhythm will take over.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Writing #Imagination #Creative

  • Wine snobbery, of course, is part showmanship, part sophistication, part knowledge, and part bluff
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Wine #Bluffs #Sophistication

  • Our most emotionally active life is lived in our dreams, and our cells renew themselves most industriously in sleep. We reach highest in meditation, and farthest in prayer. In stillness every human being is great; he is free from the experience of hostility; he is a poet, and most like an angel.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Dream #Prayer #Sleep

  • Life without music is unthinkable.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Music Is #Life Without Music #Without Music

  • I can't live one day without hearing music, playing it , studying it , or thinking about it .
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Thinking #One Day #Hearing

  • The most difficult instrument to play in the orchestra is second fiddle.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Play #Orchestra #Instruments

  • Stillness is our most intense mode of action. It is in our moments of deep quiet that is born every idea, emotion, and drive which we eventually honor with the name of action. We reach highest in meditation, and farthest in prayer. In stillness every human being is great.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Prayer #Names #Ideas

  • The joy of music should never be interrupted by a commercial.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Music #Joy #Should

  • The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Play #Enthusiasm #Firsts

  • I've been all over the world and I've never seen a statue of a critic.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #World #Critics

  • Life without music is unthinkable. Life without music is academic. That is why my contact with music is a total embrace.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Academic #Embrace #Music Is

  • Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Inspiration #Writing #Long

  • Music, of all the arts, stands in a special region, unlit by any star but its own, and utterly without meaning ... except its own.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Music #Art #Stars

  • Technique is communication: the two words are synonymous in conductors.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Communication #Two #Technique

  • In the olden days, everybody sang. You were expected to sing as well as talk. It was a mark of the cultured man to sing.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Men #Mark #Wells

  • I'm no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is Yes.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Answers

  • I'm not interested in having an orchestra sound like itself. I want it to sound like the composer.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Sound #Orchestra #Want

  • Any great art work … revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world - the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Success #Time #Art

  • It would be nice to hear someone accidentally whistle something of mine, somewhere, just once.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Music #Nice #Would Be

  • I believe that man's noblest endowment is his capacity to change.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Change #Believe #Men

  • Life without music is meaningless, music without life is academic.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Life Is #Academic #Music Is

  • Which of my Jewish roots do I follow?
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Roots

  • Children must receive music instruction as naturally as food, with as much pleasure as they derive from a ball game, and this must happen from the beginning of their lives.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Children #Games #Balls

  • Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution - the 60's comes from it.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Clothes #Revolution #Language

  • From New Year's on the outlook brightens; good humor lost in a mood of failure returns. I resolve to stop complaining.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #New Year #Years #Return

  • I believe that from the earth emerges a musical poetry that is by the nature of its sources tonal. I believe that these sources cause to exist a phonology of music, which evolves from the universal, and is known as the harmonic series.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Inspiration #Believe #Musical

  • Einstein said that the most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. So why do so many of us try to explain the beauty of music, thus depriving it of its mystery?
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Beautiful #Trying #Mysterious

  • A work of art does not answer questions, it provokes them; and its essential meaning is in the tension between the contradictory answers.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Art #Essentials #Doe

  • Music, because of its specific and far-reaching metaphorical powers, can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Names #Reaching #Metaphorical

  • Perhaps the chief requirement of [the conductor] is that he be humble before the composer; that he never interpose himself between the music and the audience; that all his efforts, however strenuous or glamorous, be made in the service of the composer's meaning - the music itself, which, after all, is the whole reason for the conductor's existence.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Humble #Effort #Requirements

  • When the thunder rumbles, Now the age of gold is dead. When the dreams we've clung to Trying to stay young, Have left us parched and old instead. When my courage crumbles, When I feel confused and frail, When my spirit falters on decaying altars And my illusions fail -- I go on right then. I go on again. I go on to say I will celebrate another day. I go on. If tomorrow tumbles And everything I love is gone, I will face regret all my days, and yet I will still go on.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Dream #Determination #Regret

  • It is the artists of the world, the feelers and the thinkers who will ultimately save us; who can articulate, educate, defy, insist, sing and shout the big dreams.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Dream #Artist #World

  • When I am with composers, I say I am a conductor. When I am with conductors, I say I am a composer.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Composer #Conductor

  • Bernstein has been disclosing musical secrets that have been well known for over 400 years.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Years #Secret #Musical

  • Even experimental composers, revolutionary composers, self-styled radicals are, in writing revolutionary music, recognizing the music that preceded them precisely by trying to avoid it.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Music #Writing #Self

  • I think it is time we learned the lesson of our century: that the progress of the human spirit must keep pace with technological and scientific progress, or that spirit will die. It is incumbent on our educators to remember this; and music is at the top of the spiritual must list. When the study of the arts leads to the adoration of the formula (heaven forbid), we shall be lost. But as long as we insist on maintaining artistic vitality, we are able to hope in man
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Music #Spiritual #Art

  • The Rhapsody is not a composition at all. It's a string of separate paragraphs stuck together - with a thin paste of flour and water... I don't think there has been such an inspired melodist on this earth since Tchaikovsky... but if you want to speak of a composer, that's another matter.
    -- Leonard Bernstein

    #Thinking #Tchaikovsky #Water