Do you think it’s possible to listen to (or perform) the century- or two centuries-old symphonic warhorses of Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky as if “for the very first time” — like a virgin, so to speak?

I had that experience with Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, a piece I hadn’t done in a couple of decades…

“If your mind is empty, it is open to everything,” the Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki once wrote. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.”

I am a beginner… all the time.

How do you keep on staying a beginner?

Don’t die.

Jonathan Cott: Dinner with Lenny: The Last Long Interview with Leonard Bernstein.

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: Instagram: clivephotos
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