Thomas Beecham quotes

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

“I prefer Offenbach to Bach often.”

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

“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.”

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham To an under-performing female cellist

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

“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.”

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham

“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.”

Thomas Beecham

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

Thomas Beecham