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Great Quotations: George Bernard Shaw

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
/
SC Public Radio

George Bernard Shaw began his career as a music critic, and in September of 1890 he wrote these words:

“People have pointed out evidences of personal feeling in my [reviews] as if they were accusing me of a misdemeanor, not knowing that a criticism written without personal feeling is not worth reading.

It is the capacity for making good or bad art a personal matter that makes a man a critic…When people do less than their best, and do that at once badly and self-complacently, I hate them, loathe them, detest them, long to tear them limb from limb… In the same way, really fine artists inspire me with the warmest personal regard…[and] when my critical mood is at its height, personal feeling is not the word: it is passion: the passion for artistic perfection—for the noblest beauty of sound, sight, and action—that rages in me.” The words of George Bernard Shaw.

A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.