Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

  • I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it.
  • To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also.
  • Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.
  • Music praises God. Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church and all its decoration; it is the Church’s greatest ornament.
  • I live neither in the past nor in the future. I am in the present. I cannot know what tomorrow will bring forth. I can know only what the truth is for me today. That is what I am called upon to serve, and I serve it in all lucidity.
  • A good composer does not imitate; he steals.
  • The trick is to compose what one wants to compose and to get it commissioned afterward.
  • I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.
  • I love ballet and am more interested in it than in anything else. . . . For the only form of scenic art that sets itself, as its cornerstone, the tasks of beauty, and nothing else, is ballet.