Renowned Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Eugene Ormandy is reputed to have said the following:

“Congratulations to each and every one of you for the concert last night in New York, and vice-versa.”

“Who is sitting in that empty chair?”

“I’m conducting slowly because I don’t know the tempo.”

“I conduct faster so you can see my beat.”

“I cannot give it to you, so try to follow me.”

“I was trying to help you, so I was beating wrong.”

“I can conduct better than I can count.”

“I guess you thought I was conducting, but I wasn’t.”

“I purposely didn’t do anything, and you were all behind.”

“Why do you always insist on playing while I’m trying to conduct?”

“Even when you are not playing you are holding me back.”

“Don’t ever follow me, because I am difficult.”

“It is not as difficult as I thought, but it is harder than it is.”

“The notes are right, but if I listened they would be wrong.”

“I wrote it the right way, so it was copied the wrong way right, I mean the right way wrong.”

“At every concert I’ve sensed a certain insecurity about the tempo. It’s clearly marked 80… uh 69.”

“It’s not together, but the ensemble is perfect.”

“Don’t play louder, just give more.”

“I don’t want to repeat this a hundred times. When you see crescendo, it means p.”

“We can’t hear the balance yet, because the soloist is still on the airplane.”

“Please follow me because I have to follow him, and he isn’t here.”

“Without him here, it is impossible to know how fast he will play it approximately.”

“…he is a wonderful man, and so is his wife.”

Source: Posted backstage at Rebecca Cohn Memorial Auditorium, Halifax, Nova Scotia