As I came to New York, it was for me a new beginning. To discover what people are living here. What do they need, what do they expect, what would they like to be the image and the performance of the New York Philharmonic?
What I never overcame is a kind of shyness.
Even my family laughed at me because they thought this young guy who's always stuttering in front of other people should be in front of 100 musicians and talk to them and leading them.
In South America, I heard the 8th Symphony of Beethoven. And the young conductor thought, Beethoven must be heroic. But this is piece which shouldn't be heroic. And this was such a misunderstanding, such a deep misunderstanding.
Since the composer has said everything, if you discover everything, it will be enough and you will be a happy man. Don't try to say it's your taste, and because of that you are changing this or that. And I must say this respect is still there.
At the age of 16, something happened with my finger and the doctor told me, you never can be a organist or pianist, so think about what you do with music.
And if you are strong enough, then you can grow as a conductor more and more.
An orchestra full of stars can be a disaster.
I always imagined that to bring an orchestra to play together is not enough for a conductor.
You have to change your mind with every orchestra because every orchestra has a different character.
Sometimes if you have very confident people, you have to tell them please, be polite, there are other players are good enough as you and you should never speak out of an orchestra.
Young conductors who are confident enough, they very often have success.
I worked on scores. I went to the musical library in Berlin which is very famous. I discovered that we had scores of Beethoven, printed scores of Beethoven, that are full of mistakes. Not the wrong or false notes, but the wrong dynamic, understandable things.
The message of music was also the first thing what I learned from my first teacher. She was an organist too and she was very devoted to what she played, so she had a respect for every piece and she felt that she is not allowed to add something of her own.
And at the same time, I had my very first concert at the age of 16. I hadn't heard a symphony orchestra before, and I was so deeply impressed I said I have to be a conductor.
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