Thomas Beecham Quotes

Who was Thomas Beecham?

Sir Thomas Beecham was an English conductor and impresario best known for his association with the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic orchestras.

Born April 29, 1879
Died March 8, 1961
Aged 81 years old

Books by Thomas Beecham

Thomas Beecham Sources

Best 24 Quotes by Thomas Beecham

“A musicologist is a man who can read music but can’t hear it.”

“Beethoven's last quartets were written by a deaf man and should only be listened to by a deaf man.”

“Brass bands are all very well in their place – outdoors and several miles away.”

“Composers and musicians have always starved and, as this is a sentimental country, we think the tradition should be continued.”

“Composers should write tunes that chauffeurs and errand boys can whistle.”

“Elgar's first symphony is the musical equivalent of St Pancras Railway Station.”

“Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory.”

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“Her singing reminds me of a cart coming downhill with the brake on. ”

“I have just been all round the world and have formed a very poor opinion of it.”

“I prefer Offenbach to Bach often.”

“If an opera cannot be played by an organ grinder, it's not going to achieve immortality.”

“If I were a dictator I should make it compulsory for every member of the population between the ages of four and eighty to listen to Mozart for at least a quarter of an hour daily for the coming five years.”

“If there is to be a chair for critics, I think it had better be an electric chair.”

“Most people really don't like music - they just like the way it sounds.”

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“Movie music is noise. It's even more painful than my sciatica.”

“No woman is worth the loss of a night's sleep.”

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“I like Nine Inch Nails, and I like hip-hop.”

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“The British like any kind of music so long as it is loud.”

“The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought.”

“The sound of a harpsichord – two skeletons copulating on a tin roof in a thunderstorm.”

“The trouble with women in an orchestra is that if they're attractive it will upset my players and if they're not it will upset me.”

“There are no woman composers, never have been and possibly never will be.”

“There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn’t give a damn what goes on in between.”

“Try everything once. Except incest and folk dancing.”

To an under-performing female cellist Quotes

“Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands – and all you can do is scratch it.”

To an under-performing female cellist

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“I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”

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Thomas Beecham Sources