Sounds and ideas are hanging in the air;I am devouring them and stuffing myself.A comment he wrote after viewing an exhibition of Viktor Hartmann's drawings and paintings which inspired his suite Pictures at an Exhibition
If I am not making music, I have no reason for existing.
Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them.
Believe me, there exists no such dilemma as that in which a gentleman is placed when he is forced to reply to a blackguard.
Edgar Allan Poe
Life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed by the desire of changing his bed. One would prefer to suffer near the fire, and another is certain he would get well if he were by the window.
Le monde est fait pour aboutir à un beau livre.
Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm.
"My music is best understood by children and animals."
I know everyone will say "Nijinsky has gone mad," but I don’t care because I have already played the mad man at home. That is what everyone will think, but they won’t put me in an insane asylum because I dance very well and give money to anyone who asks. People like eccentrics, so they will leave me alone and say I’m a mad clown. I like the mentally ill because I know how to talk to them. When my brother was in an insane asylum, I loved him and he could feel me. His friends liked me. I was eighteen then. I understood the life of a mentally ill person.
You should make a point of trying every experience once, excepting incest and folk dancing.
"I object to background music no matter how good it is. Composers want people to listen to their music, they don't want them doing something else while their music is on. I'd like to get the guy who sold all those big businessmen the idea of putting music in the elevators, for he was really clever. What on earth good does it do anybody to hear those four or eight bars while going up a few flights." Quoted in Classic Essays on Twentieth-Century Music, ISBN 0028645812
Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.
If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
Never look at the Trombones, you'll only encourage them.
By means of an image we are often able to hold on to our lost belongings. But it is the desperateness of losing which picks the flowers of memory, binds the bouquet.
My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take as much as you require.
Why should I limit myself to only one woman when I can have as many women as I want?
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.
I have never seen faces, but because I have looked people in the eye, only their gazes.
We realize our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities. We confess, We have left undone those things that ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.