About Glenn Gould

Glenn Gould was born in Toronto on September 25, 1932. His family was a musical one: Edvard Grieg was a first cousin of his mother's grandfather, his father is an amateur violinist, and his mother played piano and organ. His mother was his only music/piano teacher until he was ten. When he was three years old it became evident that he possessed exceptional music abilities, including absolute pitch and even the ability to read staff notation. At five, he was playing his own compositions for family and friends. At age six, Glenn was taken to his first live musical performance which he recalled as being Josef Hofmann's last performance in Toronto. It created a lasting and important impression upon the boy.

Robert Fulford, a distinguished Canadian author, met Glenn when they were both nine, when his family moved next door to the Goulds, he wrote... "Even as a child Glenn was isolated because he was working like hell to be a great man. He had a tremendous feeling and loving affection for music... It was an utter, complete feeling. He knew who he was and where he was going."

At age ten Gould began lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto: Alberto Guerrero was his piano teacher; he studied organ with Frederick C. Silvester and theory from Leo Smith.

Gould competed in 1944 at age 12, in the annual Kiwanis Music Festival and won the piano trophy. In 1945 he passed the associateship examination as a solo performer at the Royal Conservatory, signifying a professional level of attainment. In 1946, at age 14, he passed the music theory examination and was awarded a diploma with highest honours. Gould continued piano lessons with Alberto Guerrero until 1952.

Of significant influence upon the teen-aged Gould were Artur Schnabel ("The piano was a means to an end for him, and the end was to approach Beethoven"), Rosalyn Tureck's recording of Bach ("upright, with a sense of repose and positiveness") and Leopold Stokowski (upon whom Gould would later write and produce Stokowski: A Portrait for CBC Radio).

Gould's public debut was in 1945 as an organist in a performance sponsored by the Casavant Society at the Eaton Auditorium. The review in The Evening Telegram was headed "Boy, age 12, Shows Genius As Organist". In 1946 he first performed as soloist with orchestra at a Royal Conservatory concert performing Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. Of this occasion Gould wrote that it required little preparation because he had owned Schnabel's recording for over two years and knew every nuance. The following year Gould played the same concerto with The Toronto Symphony and The Telegram wrote, "he sat at the piano as a child among professors, and he talked with them as one with authority."

His first public recital as a pianist came in 1947 and included Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. "Genius as profound as their own was at the keyboard" was what one reviewer wrote. Gould gave his first network radio recital for the CBC in 1959, the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.

Gould made his U.S. debut in 1955 at the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C. performing the G Major Partita of Bach, Beethoven's Sonata in E Major, op. 109, five Three-Part Inventions of Bach, Webern's Variations Op. 27, and the Berg Sonata, some Gibbons and Sweelinck. Paul Hume wrote, "Few pianists play the instrument so beautifully, so lovingly, so musicianly in manner, and with such regard for its real nature and its enormous literature. Glenn Gould is a pianist with rare gifts for the world. It must not long delay hearing and according him the honour and audience he deserves. We know of no pianist anything like him of any age."

On the evening of January 11, 1955, Gould made his New York debut ("Debutown" as Gould has called it) at Town Hall and next day David Oppenheim, Director of Columbia Masterworks at the time, signed Gould to a recording contract. Gould's taping of Bach's Goldberg Variations took place at the CBS Studios in June of that year. Time Magazine stated "Bach as the old master himself must have played". The record won instant acclaim and has remained a CBS bestseller to this day.

Gould's U.S. orchestral debut came in 1956 with Detroit Symphony. Again he played Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. The following year, Gould debuted with the New York Philharmonic. Leonard Bernstein conducted Beethoven's Second Concerto. During that same year, 1957, Gould embarked upon his first European tour beginning with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert Von Karajan. The two artists remained admirers of each other's work from that time.

Tours, recordings, and engagements with the finest orchestras continued. Of a performance with the London Symphony Orchestra under Josef Krips, The Musical Times stated, "But when all is said, the playing's the thing, and if Glenn Gould should find it impossible to play as well as he does without, let us say, standing on his head, I for one would not object. He would, I am sure, do this if he felt like it, without first asking my or anybody else's permission."

During the early 60s, Gould performed and lectured extensively, until, without any fanfare, Gould made his last public appearance as a pianist in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, on March 28, 1964.

From that time until his death from a stroke in October, 1982, Glenn Gould devoted himself not only to the piano, as expressed through his more than sixty masterworks recordings, but to publishing, radio and television broadcasting, philosophy, scoring feature films, conducting, and generally realizing the tremendous potential that he harboured as creative genius.

In 1982, CBS Masterworks released a new digital recording of the Goldberg Variations, which won two Grammy Awards, the Grand Prix du Disque Award from the Academy Charles Cros, and a Juno for Best Classical Album of 1982. At that Juno Awards Ceremony, Gould was inducted into the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame.

Following his demise, further recordings of new material have continued to be released by CBS (now Sony Music). One of them, two Beethoven Sonatas, released in 1983, won Gould his fourth career Grammy Award and his recording of Brahms' Ballades won him a Juno Award in 1984.

Courtesy of the Glenn Gould Foundation
For more information about Glenn Gould, visit Sony Canada's Glenn Gould website.

"Returnings" Eve Egoyen

The late Anne Southam's "Returnings" with Eve Egoyan on Piano chosen as number one album by the Globe and Mail.


It was a privilege to be part of this project here at the Gould. Congratulations to our engineer Dennis Patterson and Producer David Jaeger. 

Glenn Gould Studio in Variety

Are you interested in Studios? If so see David Friend's article"Setting The Score".


Mulroney the Opera

mulroney.jpgApril 15, 2011 - Joyously irreverent, Mulroney: The Opera blends political satire with an original operatic score. It is at once a comedy, a tragedy and always thoroughly epic in its portrayal of contemporary political life in Canada. Within the 'Holy Grail' of musical forms - the Opera - these stories, scandals and real-life politicians are finally given the larger-than-life platform they deserve.

Muloney: The Opera is being released April 16th with an encore presentation  April 27th, 7 PM.
Directed by Larry Weinstein, Composed by Alexina Louie, Libretto by Dan Rideican, conducted by Alex Paulk, recorded by Dennis Patterson in CBC Sound Studio 211

Hip Hop Summit receives rave reviews

20110330CBCHipHopSummit.jpgMarch 29, 2011 - When CBC announced a Canadian rap concert to end all rap concerts at Glenn Gould Studio, it was met with skepticism in some sectors.  Well, doubters, they pulled it off. With wild style.  Starting from an idea from GGS own producer/technician Chris Jackson, the team at CBC cast off its cloak of fuddy-duddyness for a full night and produced what most agree was an amazing, inspiring, and cool event.

The three hundred people lucky enough to be in attendance at Tuesday's Hip Hop Summit concert were treated to a party that was anything but sedate. Performers included Maestro, Saukrates, Kardinal Offishall, Michie Mee, Choclair, k-os, K'naan, Dream Warriors, Shad (Canada's newest hip-hop Juno award winner), Cadence Weapon, Skratch Bastid, and the list goes on.  (Torontoist)


GGS Juno Nominations and Winners

March 27, 2011  - Of the many recordings we did this year in Glenn Gould Studio and CBC Sound, two were nominated this year for Junos awards.  
-  Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year - Adrean Farugia Ricochet,
R-Murray-Schafer-150x150.jpgMixed by Dennis Patterson in Studio 211
- Classical Album of the Year - Amici Ensemble Armenian Chamber Music
Recorded in GGS - Assisted by Dennis Patterson(uncredited)

R. Murray Schafer -Duo For Violin And Piano, WILD BIRD
Recorded in GGS - Assisted by Dennis Patterson(uncredited)
Produced by David Jaeger


Performing Arts Laureates Annouced

MAR 3, 2011 - Glenn Gould Studio was proud venue host of the prestigious Governor

General's Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA), as 2011 laureates of the ultimate recognition in Canada's performing arts were named: Yvon Deschamps, Margie Gillis, William Shatner, Howard Shore, Leslee Silverman, Paul Thompson, Jean-André Élie, and Denis Villeneuve.


ggpaa.jpgHis Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada expressed "It is important that we nurture Canada's vibrant performing arts community so that they may continue to capture our spirits and to inspire our minds for years to come."


These individuals are being recognized for their outstanding body of work and enduring contribution to the performing arts in Canada. Presented annually since 1992, these Awards are bestowed by Canadians to Canadians whose accomplishments have inspired and enriched the cultural life of our country.


The Hip Hop Summit: Celebrating a quarter-century of Canadian hip hop culture at Glenn Gould Studio

Thumbnail image for hiphopsummit.jpgFEB 24, 2011 - Almost two years ago, GGS's Chris Jackson asked his colleague; Radio Music Producer and Recording Engineer, Ron Skinner - Why we don't record and showcase more Rap music? Shortly thereafter, Jackson put forward his proposal of a Canada Live record, and the broadcast of a 'Hip Hop History' concert. Jackson had been planning to put together the event himself, yet when it was pitched to CBC Radio, the electricity of his idea was evident.

The CBC Radio music team; in particular, Ann MacKeigan, Ron Skinner and Malcolm Gould, thought an exposé on the history of Hip Hop was an excellent way to reach their listening audience. MacKeigan felt that Jackson's idea could be much bigger than just a concert, and an excellent outreach opportunity for CBC. Thus, morphed: The Hip Hop Summit. The Hip Hop Summit pays respect to Canadian Hip Hop by documenting its history through performance.Chris Jackson will be co-producing his premier concert for CBC Radio on March 29th, 2011. The concert will be live-to-air on Radio 3 and will be available as a podcast shortly following the live performance.

For more information, please go to the link below:



GGS Gives Back

CIMG2177.JPGDEC 21, 2011- GSS welcomed "FYI (Follow Your Instinct) Kids" for education and fun! GGS technician, Chris Jackson, facilitated a learning "talk & tour" for the group of youths. Following a visit to the radio drama studio and CBC Museum, FYI Kids took in all the sights and sounds of GGS and CBC Sound: Studios 210 and 211. 


At GGS, the youths listened and experienced the raw recorded score from the movie "Cooking With Stella", one of many complete musical scores recorded here at GGS.