"The conductor’s existence is, essentially, superfluous, and you have to attain a high degree of musical stupidity in order to find watching the beat, or the conductor's inane face for that matter, easier for the purpose of knowing when and how to play than simply listening to the music."
–Hans Keller, 1919-1985
"There are only six conductors in the world. All the rest are bums."
–Isaac Stern, 1920-2001
"Even though they’re not blind, they still insist upon using a white stick."
"There is no profession (conducting) which an impostor could enter more easily."
–Carl Flesch, 1873-1944
"There is no more obvious expression of power than the performance of a conductor. Every detail of his public behaviour throws light on the nature and abuse of power. Someone who knew nothing about power could discover all its attributes, one after another, by careful observation of a conductor. Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini, learned about dictatorship in this way."
"Every member of an orchestra knows that a conductor may be less well equipped for his work than the least of his players, but whereas the musicians quickly discover this, the society women and boards of directors, who directly or indirectly hire him, may never know."
–Igor Stravinsky, 1882-1971