I think there are very few people that I would give the title of genius to, really, but Beethoven unquestionably is one of them.
There must be so many people who have various artistic talents that, for whatever reason, just have no way of expressing them. Either they have no support from their family or they live in a part of the world, maybe they've never heard a piano or seen a piano.
Before Liszt, a conductor was someone who just facilitated the performance, who would keep people together or beat the time, indicate the entries. After Liszt, that was no longer the case; a conductor was someone who shaped the music in an intense musical way, who played the orchestra as an instrument.
Discovering how to spend leisure time well, especially during a time of austerity, could be as important in the effort to reduce crime as having extra police on the streets, and increasing the population of concert halls may actually help decrease the population of prisons.
When you're a kid, Beethoven is Beethoven, but as I've grown older, my astonishment at the sheer inventiveness of the man has increased, and I have an appreciation that I didn't have when I was in my 20s.
I enjoy painting. It's an incredible release of tension, and I feel very excited doing it. I squeeze out some wonderful red paint, and I get a thrill. My heart starts beating faster. It's almost a sensual thing working with these thick acrylic paints. I almost want to put my hands in.