Leopold Stokowski: "Musicians paint their pictures on silence"

Word of wisdom from the famed British conductor: "A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence."

Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) was a famous British conductor best known for his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as for conducting the score for Disney's Fantasia. Aside from Philadelphia, Stokowski also conducted with the New York Symphony Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, among others. He was still conducting in the years prior to his death and made his final public performance at age 93.


"A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. We provide the music, and you provide the silence."

Addressing an audience at Carnegie Hall, as quoted in The New York Times (11 May 1967)

(h/t Wikiquote)

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