Funny Musical Stories and Quotes

Best Seat in the House

Before Arthur Rubinsteinís American appearance, he decided to wander about the packed concert hall. When an usher told him to leave because the performance was sold out, Rubinstein snapped back, "Because I am performing, may I sit at the piano?"

Practice makes perfect

While traveling to concert by train, Josef Hofmann sat motionless with his eyes staring straight ahead. When the conductor asked what he was doing, Hofmann replied, "Just practicing"

Counting Sheep

During a concert at Carnegie Hall, a lady in the front row fell asleep. When Artur Schnabel finished to thunderous applause, she woke up. "Don't blame me," he told the disoriented lady, "I tried to play as softly as possible."

Curious Dedication

After moving to Paris, Frederic Chopin composed and gave recitals. Among the friends he made, Chopin had an affair with the Countess Potocka, although the relationship was brief. It had to be: he dedicated the "Minute Waltz" to her.

Honest Complaint

Shortly before Arthur Rubinstein died at age 96, he revised his will. "Wills are such a nuisance," he told his lawyer, "One schemes and in the end it is almost impossible to leave something for yourself."

Good, Better, Best

When a student asked Artur Schnabel what he charged for lessons, he stated the cost was $150 for each session. When the student responded that he couldn't afford that much, Schnabel countered with, "I also give $50 lessons, but they aren't very good."

Premiere Problems

During the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's world premiere of Elliott Carter's Partita the lights suddenly went out. After electricity was restored, conductor Daniel Barenboim continued with the piece, but soon the orchestra was again surrounded by darkness. When the distracted maestra resumed, he began conducting in 4/4 instead of the prescribed 3/4 time. The work lacked a recognizable melody but the orchestra struggled to match the notes to the innovative beat. Near the end of the work, a bar of nervous silence was followed by a climactic brass players negotiated correctly, and the music mercifully ended. Local music critics, never having heard the music before, gave the performance rave reviews.

Practice, Practice, Practice
I havenít had time to practice The piano needs tuning I forgot my glasses This piano feels so different The page turn messed me up It sounded better at home The bench is too low I practiced it faster A key is sticking I didnít know we were repeating Iíve never played this before The action is too stiff The action is too loose The pedal stuck I donít like this piece anyway.
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