I love this quotation from the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, which I found in the liner notes to his haunting recent opera The House in the Sun, recorded by the Ondine label. I imagine many composers might identify with the sentiment:
When, as a very young man, I decided I was going to be a composer, it was not because I was so passionately in love with music. No, but I had found the world and life difficult, as a child and a youngster. I wanted to escape from them. I happened to read some biographers of composers and what Richard Strauss had written: that a composer could create a world of beauty of his own, for himself alone — a kingdom of which he was the sole ruler. This was precisely what my own escapism needed, a world of my own I could build for myself, where no one could criticize me, there were none of the I-know-better brigade I so feared.