Thomas Südhof – Are you serious?

Professor Thomas Südhof has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize of Medicine and Physiology together with Professors Jim Rothman and Randi Shekman. Professor Südhof once said that he owed his incredible powers of analysis and concentration to studying a musical instrument: the Bassoon.

Here you are some of Prof. Thomas Südhof’s answers on The Lancet back in August 2010:

What apart from your family is the passion of your life?

I always try to understand everything I encounter—not only in science, but also historical and political events and music and movies—get to grips with the content, meaning, and process. This is immense fun, as strange as that may sound.

Who was your most influential teacher, and why?

My bassoon teacher, Herbert Tauscher, who taught me that the only way to do something right is to practice and listen and practice and listen, hours, and hours, and hours.

How do you relax?

Drink wine and talk to the people I love.

What is your favourite book, and why?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust, because it is a microcosm of the world and Goethe’s beautiful language expresses all of our potential and contradictions.

You can have dinner tonight with a famous person—who would it be?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, so that I could try and find out if his creativity was conscious or inherent.

I will not get tired of repeating that music makes us great!

But there’s more! Did you know that Professor Südhof was somewhere in the middle of Spain when he was told he had been awarded the Nobel Prize? You’ll love this interview!

Michael Thallium
Global Greatness Coach
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