After reading this quote, I feel that there is some hope for us all. The indented italicized material below is from NPR, who holds the copyright. Click here to read the full interview.
Fred Child: I just have more question for you, Mr. Brendel, about yourself as a child. Your own biography states rather succinctly, “He was not a child prodigy, his parents were not musicians, there was no music in the house. He himself admits he is neither a good sight reader nor is he blessed with a phenomenal memory.” That sounds like not a particularly winning combination for a young artist today. Given your own career background, what advice would you give to young up-and-coming pianists?
Alfred Brendel: Well as for myself, I have often been asked, “How did I make it at all?” I do not quite understand and cannot explain it. On the other hand, in hindsight I am very happy that by this constellation I had to find out things for myself, to start my own chain of experiences. And maybe, for that matter, my development has been a long one, and perhaps is still going on.
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And this whimsical moment from the “semi-retired” Mr. Brendel.