"Startlingly, there is no piano, or any other instrument, in his work room. "I don't need one," he says. Instead, Abbado hears all the music he conducts in his head.
The central philosophy is of listening - the gift he tries to give his musicians, his audiences and his family. "My grandfather used to take me for walks in the mountains," Abbado remembers, "and he didn't say very much. I learned from him to listen to silence. And for me, listening is the most important thing: to listen to each other, to listen to what people say, to listen to music.""