Yehudi Menuhin, fully Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin

Menuhin, fully Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin

American-born British Violinist and Conductor

Author Quotes

One cannot bargain with Bartok.

There comes a time when the student turns his back on the teacher. His playing cannot have the necessary security, autonomy, self-faith, or communicative power until he believes his interpretation is his own.

Yoga made its contribution to my quest to understand consciously the mechanics of violin playing.

One should feel in the right arm the vibration of the bow hair on the strings... The moment tension or hardness enters into the hand then of course the vibrations will not be felt- they cannot penetrate.

There is no affectation and hypocrisy in Mozart.

Yoga means union. Its goal is union with the infinite, a goal which can be reached by any number of routes; but just as there is one ending, so there is one beginning, the asanas of Hatha Yoga, which are the precondition of every advance. It would be possible to make yoga a life's occupation, giving up more and more of one's time to its refinement. For me yoga is primarily a yardstick to inner peace. In my life yoga is an aid to well-being, permitting me to do more and to do better.

Peace may sound simple - one beautiful word - but it requires everything we have, every quality, every strength, every dream, every high ideal.

There is no such thing as a difficult piece of music. A piece is either impossible or easy. The process whereby it migrates from one category to the other is known as PRACTICING.

Yoga taught me lessons it would have taken me years to learn by other means. Yoga was my compass.

It is absolutely vital to hold it as lightly as possible - rather as one might pick up a newborn bird... One should feel, in the right arm, the sensation of the bowhair on the strings... The moment tension or hardness enters... the vibrations will not be felt. [On the bow-hold]

Rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous.

There were other gurus and other lessons, but not until I met Iyengar did I take up the study regularly. My first meeting with him was like the casting of a spell. We made each other's acquaintance in Mumbai. He appeared in my rooms one morning and straightaway made it clear that the "audition" to follow was mine as much as his. For all my celebrity, to him I was just another Western body knotted through and through.

It is music that welds spiritual and sensual, that can convey ecstasy free of guilt, faith without dogma, love as homage, and a person at home with nature and the infinite.

That India should offer me at once a homeland and a new-found land with lasting power to astonish seemed only right, for it is precisely the reconciling of contradictions within an all-accepting unity that is the country's genius and its abiding appeal to me. India, I feel, has softened my Talmudical adjudications between right and wrong, upheld innocent acceptance of the lovely things of life, given me much that was new yet welcome, understandable, waiting to experienced.

This is the best and ultimate purpose of conducting: Not only to lead (the musicians) and keep them together, not only to make their performance easier and simpler, but also to guide them so that they can play as they have always longed to play.

It is perhaps life's greatest accomplishment to live to old age, maintaining one's wits, one's sense of humor, one's health, and one's charm.

The art of creation lies in the gift of perceiving the particular and generalizing it, thus creating the particular again. It is therefore a powerful transforming force and a generator of creative solutions in relation to a given problem. It is the currency of human exchanges, which enables the sharing of states of the soul and conscience, and the discovery of new fields of experience.

This wasteful governing by fear, by contempt for the basic dignities of life, this steady asphyxiation of a dependent people, should be the very last means to be adopted by those who themselves know too well the awful significance, the unforgettable suffering of such an existence. It is unworthy of my great people, the Jews, who have striven to abide by a code of moral rectitude for some 5,000 years, who can create and achieve a society for themselves such as we see around us but can yet deny the sharing of its great qualities and benefits to those dwelling amongst them.

Its purpose is to unite one's soul and discipline one's body, to make one sensitive to the infinite within one, to unite one's breath of space, one's vibrations with the vibrations of the cosmos.

The Astronomy of the Hindus has formed the subject of excessive admiration.

To be an outstanding musician, you have to be very attentive to the smallest detail and willing to have infinite patience in the pursuit of your ideal.

I've had marvelous and incredible luck, and devoted parents, sisters, friends, and teachers. What more can one ask? These things contribute enormously. Probably the major part of one's success is due to these factors.

The best teacher is the one who himself has had to struggle to learn.

To play great music, you must keep your eyes on a distant star.

Learning an imposed method seemed not in my nature

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Menuhin, fully Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin
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American-born British Violinist and Conductor