Second meeting after the concert

That evening, as the guest of Kurt Masur, Sri Chinmoy and a number of his students attended the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance conducted by Mr. Masur. Mrs. Masur joined Sri Chinmoy in a private box to view the performance, which included Ives-Schuman’s “Variations on America,” Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme of Haydn,” Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” and Reger’s “Variations on a Theme of Mozart”. Later, Sri Chinmoy hosted a special dinner for Mr. and Mrs. Masur at a Chinese restaurant in Manhattan.


Mr. Masur: I am very glad you invited us. Thank you very much.

Sri Chinmoy: Since this morning my students and I have been exploiting your compassion like anything!

Mr. Masur: I wanted to give something back to you, as the composer, as well as to all those who were able to create the arrangement. I believe that if you can live the way that you do, trying to give people peace and harmony, then you are doing a most wonderful job, if you can call it a job.

Singer: When you conduct your music, it becomes very pictorial. It is not only audio but also very visual.

Mr. Masur: I don’t know what I do. I really don’t know. I hate it when I see myself on television. I feel free if there’s nothing around and I am just in myself. This is also, in one sense, a kind of meditation.

I am very happy today. Being understood by some people is a wonderful thing. I’m deeply impressed by our meeting, and I want to thank you very much for being able to come tonight.

Sri Chinmoy: It is such a joy and an honour.

(R plays part of a tape of Sri Chinmoy’s organ performance at the Sydney Opera house.)

Mr. Masur: It is improvised, but it sounds so organised — not “organ”-ised!

(R plays a tape of one of Sri Chinmoy’s piano performances.)

Mr. Masur: When did you start improvising on the piano?

Sri Chinmoy: Three years ago. First I started on the piano, and then I began improvising on the organ.

Mr. Masur: You started on the piano first. It is amazing.

Sri Chinmoy: On other instruments I play the melody of my songs. Here it is spontaneous improvisation.