Bernstein on immersive performance

It happens because you identify so completely with the composer, you’ve studied him so intently, that it’s as though you’ve written the piece yourself. You completely forget who you are or where you are and you write the piece write there. You just make it up as though you never heard it before. Because you become that composer. I always know when such a thing has happened because it takes me so long to come back. It takes four or five minutes to know what city I’m in, who the orchestra is, who are the people making all that noise behind me, who am I? It’s a great experience and it doesn’t happen often enough.

Leonard Bernstein. Cited in: Green, Barry (2003) The Mastery of Music: Ten Pathways to True Artistry. New York: Broadway Books, pp. 3-4.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist