18 Best Virgil Thomson Quotes

Virgil Thomson was a talented American composer and music critic. He helped to define “The American Sound” in classical music.
Some have called him a modernist, others a neoromantic, still others a neoclassicist; he is also known as the composer of an Olympian blend of humanity and detachment.

Lets discuss some interesting quotes from Virgil Thomson

“The way to write American music is simple. All you have to do is be an American and then write any kind of music you wish.” ― Virgil Thomson

“I said to my friends that if I was going to starve, I might as well starve where the food is good.” ― Virgil Thomson

Best Virgil Thomson Quotes

“I’ve never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, the music itself is not going to let you down.” ― Virgil Thomson

“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.” – Virgil Thomson

“I seem to write an opera about every 20 years; if you live long enough you can write four operas. I finished my third in 1970.” – Virgil Thomson

“Let your mind alone, and see what happens.” ― Virgil Thomson

“I listened to the pure crystalline notes of one of Mozart’s concertos dropping at my feet like leaves from the trees.” ― Virgil Thomson

“A libretto that should never have been accepted on a subject that should never have been chosen bya man who should never have attempted it.” ― Virgil Thomson

“I never learned to verbalize an abstract musical concept. No thank you. The whole point of being a serious musician is to avoid verbalization whenever you can.” ― Virgil Thomson

“Musicians own music because music owns them.” ― Virgil Thomson

Quotes about Virgil Thomson

I got myself into a lovely little shall we say controversy with André Breton, by pointing out that the discipline of spontaneity, which he was asking his surrealist neophytes to adopt, was new for the language but something that composers had been practicing for centuries.” ― Virgil Thomson

Best Virgil Thomson Quotes

Reviewing music or reviewing anything is a writing job. It’s nice if you are experienced in the field you are writing about, but writing is what you are doing.” ― Virgil Thomson

Every composer’s music reflects in its subject matter and in its style the source of the money the composer is living on while writing the music.” ― Virgil Thomson

“The description and explanation are the best part of music reviewing. There is such a thing, and you know it too, as a gift for judgment. If you have it, you can say anything you like. If you haven’t got it, you don’t know you haven’t got it.” ― Virgil Thomson

“Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, the music itself is not going to let you down.” ― Virgil Thomson

“You explain how it went, and as far as you can figure out how it got that way.” ― Virgil Thomson

Best Virgil Thomson Quotes

“I don’t care what other critics say, I only hope to be played.” ― Virgil Thomson

“Verbal communication about music is impossible except among musicians.” ― Virgil Thomson

Details about Virgil Thomson

NameVirgil Thomson
BornNovember 25, 1896
BirthplaceKansas City, Missouri, U.S.
CountryNew York City. New York
Years active1920 – 1989
OccupationComposer, critic
PartnerMaurice Grosser
Awards And HonorsPulitzer Prize
Notable Works“The Plow That Broke the Plains”

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