Sergei Rachmaninoff Quote
I can respect the artistic aim of a composer if he arrives at the so-called modern idiom after an intense period of preparation…Such composers know what they are doing when they break a law; they know what to react against, because they have had experience in the classical forms and style. Having mastered the rules, they know which can be violated and which should be obeyed. But, I am sorry to say, I have found too often that young composers plunge into the writing of experimental music with their school lessons only half learned. Too much radical music is sheer sham, for this very reason: its composer sets about revolutionizing the laws of music before he learned them himself.
Interviewed by David Ewen in The Etude, 1941; cited from Josiah Fisk and Jeff Nichols (eds.) Composers on Music (Boston, MA: Northeastern Universities Press, 1997) pp. 235-6