- The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause.
- A symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything.
- The longer you live and the more you learn, the more clearly you will feel the difference between the few men who are truly great and the mere virtuosi.
- Don't bother looking at the view — I have already composed it.
- If you think you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.
- The important thing is never to let oneself be guided by the opinion of one's contemporaries; to continue steadfastly on one's way without letting oneself be either defeated by failure or diverted by applause.
- What's best in music is not to be found in the notes.
- Was ihr Theaterleute euere Tradition nennt, das ist nichts anderes als eure Bequemlichkeit und Schlamperei.
- What the theater folks call tradition is nothing more than their laziness and sloppiness.
- You couldn't imagine how this will sound!
- To Natalie Bauer-Lechner of his third symphony
- Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound.
- On the finale of his eighth symphony "Res Severa Verum Gaudia" (To Be Serious is the Greatest Joy)
- In the theatrical works we love and admire the most, the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage.
- Tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the flame.
- Variant: Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
- Variant: Tradition is not the preservation of ash, but the transmission of fire.