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Glenn Gould
A profile of a man of about 50 playing a grand piano
Gould in later years
Born
Glenn Herbert Gold

(1932-09-25)25 September 1932
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died 4 October 1982(1982-10-04) (aged 50)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Burial place Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Royal Conservatory of Music
Occupation
  • pianist
  • composer
  • writer
Notable work
Performances of Bach's keyboard works
Parents
  • Russell Herbert "Bert" Gold (father)
  • Florence Emma Gold (née Greig) (mother)
Awards Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2013) Grammy, 1973, 1982
Juno Award, 1979
Canadian Music Hall of Fame
National Historic Person
Companion of the Order of Canada (rejected)
Musical career
Genres classical music
Instruments
Years active 1945–1982
Labels CBS Records
Associated acts Ellen Faull, Donald Gramm, Yehudi Menuhin, Leonard Rose, and others
Signature
Glenn Gould (signature).svg

Glenn Herbert Gould ( Gold; 25 September 1932 – 4 October 1982) was a Canadian classical pianist. He was one of the best known and most celebrated pianists of the 20th century, and was renowned as an interpreter of the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Gould's playing was distinguished by a remarkable technical proficiency and a capacity to articulate the contrapuntal texture of Bach's music.

Gould rejected most of the standard Romantic piano literature by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and others, in favour of Bach and Beethoven mainly, along with some late-Romantic and modernist composers. Although his recordings were dominated by Bach and Beethoven, Gould's repertoire was diverse, including works by Mozart, Haydn, and Brahms; pre-Baroque composers such as Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, William Byrd, and Orlando Gibbons; and 20th-century composers including Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss. Gould was known for his eccentricities, from his unorthodox musical interpretations and mannerisms at the keyboard to aspects of his lifestyle and behaviour. He stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 to concentrate on studio recording and other projects.

Gould was also a writer, broadcaster, composer and conductor. He was a prolific contributor to musical journals, in which he discussed music theory and outlined his musical philosophy. He performed on television and radio, and produced three musique concrète radio documentaries called the Solitude Trilogy, about isolated areas of Canada. Although Gould was known chiefly as a pianist, he capped off his musical career with a recording of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll as conductor.

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