Thursday, February 7, 2013


Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.
Igor Stravinsky
I am an inventor of music.
Igor Stravinsky

The trouble with music appreciation in general is that
people are taught to have too much respect for music
they should be taught to love it instead.
Igor Stravinsky
Picasso and Stravinsky in the center
Stravinsky, 1897. (Fondation Igor-Stravinsky)
Albert Gleizes, "Portrait of Igor Stravinsky," 1914, The Museum of Modern Art, NY
Albert Gleizes: Portrait of Igor Stravinsky, 1914
Music is given to us with the sole purpose 
of establishing an order in things, including, and particularly,
the coordination between man and time.
Igor Stravinsky
In order to create there must be a dynamic force,
and what force is more potent than love?
Igor Stravinsky
To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit.
A duck hears also.
Igor Stravinsky
Film music should have the same relationship to the film drama
that somebody's piano playing in my living room has on the book I am reading.
Igor Stravinsky
I know that the twelve notes in each octave
and the variety of rhythm offer me opportunities
that all of human genius will never exhaust.
Igor Stravinsky
Afterwards, after the concert, I heard them say:
'Too much noise.' And I wanted to ask: 'Where, exactly?'
Igor Stravinsky
The principle of the endless melody is the perpetual becoming
of a music that never had any reason for starting,
any more than it has any reason for ending.
Igor Stravinsky
Conductors' careers are made for the most part with 'Romantic' music.
'Classic' music eliminates the conductor;
we do not remember him in it.
Igor Stravinsky
Walt Disney and Stravinsky
Caricature of Stravinsky by Walt Disney
A plague on eminence!
I hardly dare cross the street anymore without a convoy,
and I am stared at wherever I go
like an idiot member of a royal family or an animal in a zoo;
and zoo animals have been known to die from stares.
Igor Stravinsky
Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.
Igor Stravinsky

Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish),
but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right.
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinski rocking a speedo and wingtips.
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.
Igor Stravinsky
morán frames illustration drawing, illustration drawing frames moran
I haven't understood a bar of music in my life,
but I have felt it.
Igor Stravinsky
Harpists spend 90% of their time tuning their harps
and 10% playing out of tune.
Igor Stravinsky
Just as appetite comes by eating,
so work brings inspiration,
if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.
Igor Stravinsky
A good composer does not imitate; he steals.
Igor Stravinsky 
My music is best understood by children and animals.
Igor Stravinsky
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.
Igor Stravinsky
I was born out of due time in the sense that
by temperament and talent
I should have been more suited for the life of a small Bach,
living in anonymity and composing regularly
for an established service and for God.
Igor Stravinsky

Money may kindle,
but it cannot by itself,
and for very long, burn.
Igor Stravinsky
The Church knew what the psalmist knew:
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.
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky by Ken Orvidas
Composers combine notes, that's all.
Igor Stravinsky
What gives the artist real prestige is his imitators.
Igor Stravinsky

The real composer thinks about his work the whole time;
he is not always conscious of this,
but he is aware of it later
when he suddenly knows what he will do.
Igor Stravinsky