It seems always to have been difficult to have been a New York Philharmonic conductor because of the nature of New York. We are in direct competition with the great orchestras in the world who come to play in our hall or in Carnegie, and we are constantly compared. I think that 's a good thing.
Music moves me - duh - and that is like having a window opening on a heightened reality, but the effect is fleeting: When the music ends, the magic, the uplifting, vanishes and the window slams shut. Words, on the other hand, by the nature of how they work, emotions evoked by dint of carefully laid out thoughts, have a more lingering effect.
I think we suffer from certain alienation. We live on this planet, but we somehow have an idea that we're elevated from it, that we're not nature. We're a creature that manages nature and is superior and does whatever it wants. That creates a separation between humanity and the rest of the planet.
I seldom read anything that is not of a factual nature because I want to invest my time wisely in the things that will improve my life. Don't misunderstand; there is nothing wrong with reading purely for the joy of it. Novels have their place, but biographies of famous men and women contain information that can change lives.
My father is a Marine. My brother is a Marine. I almost became a Marine. I'm no stranger to fight training. I used to do jujitsu and boxing as a kid. I was a running back in football for my high school and my college. I played ice hockey as well as did theater. So, there's always been a physical nature to me.
People have long feared that mechanization might cause mass unemployment. This never happened because, as old professions became obsolete, new professions evolved, and there was always something humans could do better than machines. Yet this is not a law of nature, and nothing guarantees it will continue to be like that in the future.