Glenn Gould
(1932-1982)

Died aged 50

Glenn Herbert Gould (25 September 1932 – 4 October 1982) was a Canadian pianist who became one of the best-known and most celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century. He was particularly renowned as an interpreter of the keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach. His playing was distinguished by remarkable technical proficiency and capacity to articulate the polyphonic texture of Bach's music. After his adolescence, Gould rejected most of the standard Romantic piano literature including Liszt, Schumann, and Chopin. Although his recordings were dominated by Bach, Gould's repertoire was diverse, including works by Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, pre-Baroque composers such as Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Orlando Gibbons and William Byrd, and such 20th-century composers as Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg and Richard Strauss. Gould was well known for various eccentricities, from his unorthodox musical interpretations and mannerisms at the keyboard to aspects of his lifestyle and personal behaviour. He stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 to concentrate on studio recording and other projects. Gould was the first pianist to record any of Liszt's piano transcriptions of Beethoven's symphonies (beginning with the Fifth Symphony, in 1967). Gould was also known as a writer, composer, conductor, and broadcaster. He was a prolific contributor to musical journals, in which he discussed music theory and outlined his musical philosophy. His career as a composer was less distinguished. His output was minimal and many projects were left unfinished. There is evidence that, had he lived beyond 50, he intended to abandon the piano and devote the remainder of his career to conducting and other projects. As a broadcaster, Gould was prolific. His output ranged from television and radio broadcasts of studio performances to musique concrète radio documentaries about life in the Canadian wilderness.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

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Glenn Gould (1932-1982). Recognized internationally as one of the great classical musicians of the 20th century, this pianist of prodigious talent and originality is best known for his masterful renditions of the counterpoint of J.S. Bach. Retiring from the concert stage at the young age of 32, he exploited new sound technologies to their fullest and left a rich musical heritage in his many recordings. A visionary thinker and author, who foresaw the profound impact of technology on culture and society, he also pursued a remarkably diverse career in radio and television. Long after his premature death, Gould continues to challenge and inspire. / Reconnu mondialement comme l’un des grands musiciens classiques du XXe siècle, ce pianiste à l’originalité et au talent prodigieux s’est distingué par ses interprétations magistrales du contrepoint de J.-S. Bach. Dès 32 ans, il a quitté la scène pour se consacrer aux nouvelles technologies sonores, créant par ses nombreux enregistrements un riche legs musical. Ce penseur et auteur visionnaire, qui anticipait le profond impact des technologies sur la culture et la société, a poursuivi aussi une carrière diversifiée à la radio et à la télévision. Même après sa mort prématurée, Gould continue d’inspirer et de susciter des explorations.

English translation:

250 Front Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada where they was