Here are some more quips, quotes and anecdotes that I found. The are mostly from composers and pianists but some are by others. Many are humorous but some just interesting.

“If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.”Johannes Brahms

“Sometimes it is to your advantage for people to think you are crazy.”Thelonious Monk

“If I decide to be an idiot then I’ll be an idiot on my own accord”JS Bach

“Get up from that piano. You’re hurtin’ it’s feelin’s”Jelly Roll Morton

“There was no one near to confuse me so I was forced to become original”Joseph Haydn

“I wanted to be a veterinarian until I saw a video of a vet performing surgery on a dog. Then I decided I wanted to be a pianist.”Amy Lee

“The music is not in the notes but in the silence between”Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“I pay no attention whatsoever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.”J.S. Bach

“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.”Leopold Stokowski

“What is best in music is not to be found within the notes.”Mahler

“There is two kinds of music, the good and bad. I play the good kind.”Louis Armstrong

“All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard no horse sing a song.”Louis Armstrong

“Only a few act – the rest of us reap the benefits of their risk.”Wynton Marsalis

“Don’t settle for style. Succeed in substance.”Wynton Marsalis

“Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.”Igor Stravinsky

“Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been put up to a critic.”Sibelius

“Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Ninth Symphony will remain.”Michael Bakunin about Beethoven’s Ninth

“I am a general. My soldiers are the keys and I must command them.”Horowitz

“I must tell you I take terrible risks… Never be afraid to dare.”Horowitz

Rachmaninoff and violinist Kreisler were performing. Kreisler got lost following Rachmaninoff on the piano and nervously whispered, “Where are we at?” Without missing a note Rachmaninoff replied, “In Carnegie Hall”

Handel was known to order enough dinner for three people when he ate out.

“I can’t listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.”Woody Allen

“You know the bank I used to cry all the way to. I bought it.”Liberace


Pianist Victor Borge Quotes:

Regarding English: “It’s your language, I’m just trying to use it.”

“It’s by the Spanish composer El Beethoven.”

After hearing a cough from the audience: “I hope it’s not serious.”

On canned music: “I know (it) makes chickens lay more eggs and factory workers produce more. But how much more can they get out of you on an elevator?”


“I’m a concert pianist. That’s a pretentious way of saying I’m unemployed at the moment.”Oscar Levant

“A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.”Frank Zappa

“I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the manmade sound never equaled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig.” Alfred Hitchcock

“Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.”Steve Martin

“Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.”Mark Twain

“Don’t look at the trombones. It only encourages them.” – Wagner

“There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.”George Bernard Shaw

“Last night at Carnegie Hall, Jack Benny played Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn lost.”Harold C. Schonberg

“An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.”Edith Wharton

“Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, sings.”Ed Gardner

“Learning music by reading about it is like making love by mail.”Pavarotti

“How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.”Rossini

“Rossini would have been a great composer if his teacher had spanked him enough on the backside.” Ludwig van Beethoven