When we have a good balance between thinking and feeling... our actions and lives are always the richer for it.
Things can fall apart, or threaten to, for many reasons, and then there's got to be a leap of faith. Ultimately, when you're at the edge, you have to go forward or backward; if you go forward, you have to jump together.
People will ask, 'Are you famous?' And I always answer, 'My mother thinks so.'
Many of the Central Asians know Russian, and Ted Levin speaks it fluently. I speak Chinese, but Mongolian is completely different, so we had to have translators.
The tradition of classical music and the opera is such that it used to be the place where social intercourse could take place between all parts of society: politicians, industrialists, artists, citizens, etc. That tradition, I think, still exists, but it's much, much more diluted.
As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody's individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.
The tango is really a combination of many cultures, though it eventually became the national music of Argentina.
My involvement in the political arena is to make sure there's a place for culture.
It took me way beyond what I knew, into places of which I was totally scared, but as I became less frightened, I welcomed new ways of thinking and approaching something. It made me an infinitely richer person, and I think a better musician.
I think anybody who goes away finds you appreciate home more when you return.
I've been traveling all over the world for 25 years, performing, talking to people, studying their cultures and musical instruments, and I always come away with more questions in my head than can be answered.
You go through phases. You have to reinvent reasons for playing, and one year's answer might not do for another.
The role of the musician is to go from concept to full execution. Put another way, it's to go from understanding the content of something to really learning how to communicate it and make sure it's well-received and lives in somebody else.
Children, in a way, are constant learners. Certainly sponge-like. Absorbing everything without careful analysis, even though, at the same time, they are certainly capable of incredible insights.
You know, you can have someone who's the very best at something, but if there's not that kind of chemistry, collaborating is not going to amount to anything.
I love grocery shopping when I'm home. That's what makes me feel totally normal. I love both the idea of home as in being with my family and friends, and also the idea of exploration. I think those two are probably my great interests.
I think of a piece of music as something that comes alive when it is being performed, and I feel that my role in the transmission of music is to be its best advocate at that moment.
After reaching 50, I began to wonder what the root of life is.
My teacher, my great cello teacher Leonard Rose, was such a great cellist, and nurturing man, very patient. But I grew up not only admiring him, but obviously Casals, Rostrotovich, Jacqueline du Pre, and many others, including many of my peers and contemporaries.
Music has always been transnational; people pick up whatever interests them, and certainly a lot of classical music has absorbed influences from all over the world.
When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it.
Mastering music is more than learning technical skills. Practicing is about quality, not quantity. Some days I practice for hours; other days it will be just a few minutes.
Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks.