Blunt quotes by modern and contemporary composers

I decided to keep things simple on the blog this week. That’s why I’ll be sharing 10 of the funniest and bluntest quotes by modern and contemporary composers. None of us know whether these blunt quotes should be taken seriously. But most of them probably convey the honest thoughts of each composer back when they were first spoken.

Meanwhile, we can find a lot more quotes from old composers than contemporary ones. Probably because their lives are more documented and they have managed to influence a broader audience. But for now, let’s check out the following quotes by contemporary composers that have successfully stood the test of time. Enjoy the bluntness!

Short blunt quotes by modern and contemporary composers

  • “Bach on the wrong notes.”
    ~Sergei Prokofiev on Igor Stravinsky
  • “He’d be better off shovelling snow than scribbling on manuscript paper.”
    ~Richard Strauss on Arnold Schönberg
  • “All you need to write like him is a large bottle of ink.”
    Igor Stravinsky on Olivier Messiaen
  • “From Schoenberg’s pen flows a stream of infuriating clichés.”
    ~Pierre Boulez
  • “Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through their feet instead of their brains.”
    ~John Philip Sousa
  • “Competitions are for horses, not artists.”
    ~Bela Bartok
  • “Blow the opera houses up.”
    ~Pierre Boulez
  • “All Bach’s last movements are like the running of a sewing machine.”
    ~Arnold Bax
  • “Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.”
    ~Igor Stravinsky
  • “Listening to the fifth symphony of Ralph Vaughan Williams is like staring at a cow for 45 minutes.”
    ~Aaron Copland

Are there any harsh or blunt quotes by contemporary composers you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below! For now, let’s blow those opera houses up, shall we?

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