"It was a book that we know was by his bed and he wrote things inside of it," St.Clair said.
Homer's work may have inspired Beethoven in writing the distinctive rhythm of the Seventh Symphony's second movement, he said.
"The whole metric thing with the second movement ... ." He paused to sing the intro. "It's what's called dactylic hexameter, which is what Homer wrote a lot of that book in."
Knowing such background helps him decide how he will lead the approach to the music.
"All these little things give you insight," he added.
Furthermore, St.Clair said he remains inspired by drawing upon those who taught him, among them, Leonard Bernstein. It's part of his pre-concert routine.