When did you start playing an instrument?
I was five years old.
Why did you start playing?
Because I was given a little piano in my house.
Which musician inspired you most when you were young?
Which musicians (instrumentalists or singers) do you most admire?
Joshua Bell and Placido Domingo.
What's your favourite piece to conduct?
Every place where they love making music and are not just playing notes.
What piece have you never conducted but would like to?
What's your favourite piece to listen to?
Beethoven's 6th Symphony.
Who is your favourite composer?
Who is your favourite writer?
Who is your favourite theatre or film director?
Bill Friedkin because is my friend ,
Who is your favourite actor?
Who is your favourite dancer?
What is your favourite book?
The Metamorphosis by Kafka.
What is your favourite film?
Which is your favourite city?
What do you like most about yourself?
That I do not have enemies.
What do you dislike about yourself?
I accept myself as I am.
What was your proudest moment?
My Met Opera debut.
When and where were you happiest?
When I became father and in the Canary Islands when I got married.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife and daughter.
What is your greatest fear?
Seeing my beloved suffering from some disease.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I don't see any reason to change myself.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
To be considered a good musician.
What is your most treasured possession?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Wearing coloured glasses.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Honesty — sometimes the truth can hurt people and make them suffer.
On what occasion did you lie?
When I said to an artistic director that I knew a piece that I had never heard about, just to have the contract.
If you hadn't been a conductor what would you have liked to be?
Probably a concert producer.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I have never changed my personality during my career.
What quality do you most value in a friend?
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
To have them always give their opinion directly.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Leonardo da Vinci.
Which living person do you most admire?
What do you most dislike?
Too many things.
What talent would you most like to have?
To be able to play professional soccer.
What's your idea of perfect happiness?
Have a healthy family and a job that permits you to live without difficulties.
How would you like to die?
On the podium.
What is your motto?
Live for the music not with the music.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.