Toronto, August 29, 2022 – Glenn Gould, the iconic Canadian classical pianist, writer, composer, conductor and broadcaster, would have celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday, September 25th, 2022. To commemorate this milestone anniversary, The Glenn Gould Foundation has programmed [email protected], a series of free events starting September 17th honouring Canada’s futuristic musical maverick.
Despite his untimely death 40 years ago, Gould’s legacy as one of the most famous and celebrated pianists of the 20th century – a phenomenal, enigmatic and eccentric musical genius – continues to grow and attract legions of fans around the world. Glenn Gould’s career-launching 1955 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations is the best-selling solo classical instrumental album of all time and has never been out of release since it first dropped. Gould became “the first Canadian in Space” when his recording of the first Prelude from Book I of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier was included on the “Golden Record” launched in 1977 aboard the Voyager 1 Space probe, now in interstellar space and currently 14.612 billion miles from Earth . . . and climbing!
Foreseeing the transformative impact of technology on the arts, communications and human society, Gould quit the concert stage at the height of his career in 1964, and devoted the rest of his life to the use of technology to perfect his art, and refine and express his visionary ideas. He was a prophet of the information age.
Glenn Gould Street Tribute!
Saturday, September 17
Glenn Gould’s music will permeate the streets of Toronto as the Glenn Gould School’s 2021-22 Quartet-in-Residence, The Dior String Quartet, performs 5 pop-up concerts in various downtown locations and enchants the public with Gould’s favourite works. The Dior String Quartet includes Noa Sarid (violin), Tobias Elser (violin), Caleb Georges (viola), and Joanne Yesol Choi (cello).
Day of Gould Celebrations
Saturday, September 24 from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM
Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West
This day of celebrations includes film screenings, panel discussions, Artificial Intelligence technology demonstrations and concerts. Visit www.glenngould.ca for full program details.
11:00 AM Film Screening Glenn Gould: The Russian Journey and Panel Discussion
This documentary by director Yosif Feyginberg about 24-year-old Glenn Gould’s galvanizing 1957 concerts in Moscow and Leningrad at the height of the Cold War features Glenn Gould, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Following the film, a panel discussion on the geopolitical importance of cultural diplomacy and soft power during times of global conflict like these. Panelists include Janice Stein of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and internationally celebrated architect Jack Diamond.
1:30 PM Concert World Premiere of The Lord of Toronto, His Pavin
The concert features the world premiere of The Lord of Toronto, His Pavin, a specially commissioned work for cello and piano dedicated to Glenn Gould by Canadian composer and cellist Daniel Hass, and Bach’s Sonata in G-minor for Cello and Keyboard, BWV 1029. Performing with Daniel Hass is pianist Kevin Ahfat.
2:45 PM Artificial Intelligence Demonstration Canadian Premiere of Dear Glenn
Developed by Yamaha Japan in consultation with The Glenn Gould Foundation, Dear Glenn, a deep-learning technology has analyzed the elements of Gould’s performing style and can produce a performance of virtually any repertoire – delivered in the style of Glenn Gould (including music never performed by Gould in his lifetime). Prepare for a close encounter with the spirit of Gould!
3:15 PM Panel Discussion: The Implications of Artificial Intelligence for the Future of Music and Human Creativity
Are creative artists an endangered species? Panelists include Edward Jones-Imhotep, Director of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and Akira Maezawa PhD (Informatics), Yamaha researcher in music information retrieval and statistical audio signal processing.
3:45 PM Presentation: Glenn Gould’s Technology Legacy…Classical Music Meets TikTok
In tribute to Glenn Gould’s everlasting fascination with technology, cellist and popular TikTok artist Andrew Ascenzo leads a demonstration to show how classical music can thrive in the TikTok universe.
4:30 PM Film Screening The Goldberg Variations
This 1981 film by Bruno Monsaingeon documents Gould’s historic second traversal of this monument of musical literature. Our screening is introduced by Tim Page, Pulitzer-Prize winning critic for The New York Times and Washington Post, a fast friend of Glenn Gould’s and editor of The Glenn Gould Reader.
7:30 PM Concert: Leila Josefowicz
Canadian-American violinist Leila Josefowicz is a passionate advocate of contemporary music for the violin. Winner of a 2008 MacArthur Fellowship and the 2018 Avery Fisher Prize, she regularly performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, NAC Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Dresdner Philharmonie and Budapest Festival Orchestra. The concert program includes Matthias Pintscher’s La Linea Evocativa: A Drawing for Violin Solo and Bach’s Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004.
Announcement of the 14th Glenn Gould Prize Laureate
Sunday, September 25 at Noon ET
Leslie and Anna Dan Galleria, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West
On the 90th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s birth, an international jury panel chaired by legendary producer Bob Ezrin will announce the winner of the fourteenth Glenn Gould Prize at a news conference in Toronto.
The $100,000 prize celebrates artistic excellence, innovation, and humanitarianism. The free event is open to the public and will be livestreamed at www.glenngould.ca.
Alma Deutscher and The Glenn Gould Festival Orchestra
Sunday, September 25 at 2 PM
Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West
Enjoy a 21st century example of Gouldian youthful musical genius, as seventeen-year-old composer, violinist, pianist and conductor Alma Deutscher conducts The Glenn Gould Festival Orchestra in a concert of her own music. Soloists include Alma Deutscher (violin, piano) Vania Chan (soprano) and Noah Kostas (bari-tenor). Alma Deutscher began playing the piano when she was two, the violin at three and started composing at four. At the age of ten, she wrote a full-length opera, Cinderella, which has been produced on three continents to sold-out houses. Tickets to the Alma Deutscher concert are free and can be reserved in advance, as of September 6th, through the RCM Box Office at www.rcmusic.com or by phone at 416-408-0208.
[email protected] at TIFF Cinematheque
Tuesday, September 27
TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West
Presented in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival, this special tribute features five screenings and a live conversation with director François Girard. Glenn Gould NFB Film Shorts screenings at 12:00 PM are free and include: Glenn Gould – On the Record (1959), a 30-minute documentary following Gould in New York City directed by Wolf Koenig and Roman Kroitor; Glenn Gould – Off the Record (1959), a short documentary at Gould’s lakeside cottage, directed by Wolf Koenig and Roman Kroitor; and Spheres (1969), an animated short by Norman McLaren and René Jodoin set to the music of Bach performed by Glenn Gould. The 3:00 PM screening of Slaughterhouse-Five (1972), a compelling anti-war saga directed by George Roy Hill, marked Gould’s first foray into film scoring. The 6:00 PM free screening of Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould (1993) is one of the most successful Canadian films of all time, directed by Francois Girard and starring Colm Feore as Gould. The event begins with a live piano performance and includes a post-screening Q&A with Francois Girard. Tickets to all screenings can be reserved in advance at https://am.ticketmaster.com/tiff/buy#/
The Glenn Gould Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Power Corporation of Canada, BMO Financial, an Anonymous Donor, many individual donors, and media sponsor, The Globe and Mail. The Glenn Gould Foundation also acknowledges TIFF, the Royal Conservatory of Music, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, and Victoria University.
About The Glenn Gould Foundation
The Glenn Gould Foundation celebrates the life, career, and enduring influence of Canadian pianist, writer and broadcaster Glenn Gould. Every two years, the Foundation convenes an international jury to award the Glenn Gould Prize to a living individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts. Past laureates of the international prize include Jessye Norman (2018), documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin (2020), Leonard Cohen (2011), El Sistema founder Dr. José Antonio Abreu (2008), Yo-Yo Ma (1999), and Oscar Peterson (1993). Inspired by Glenn Gould and his legend, the Foundation launched The Gould Standard, a conversational podcast about the arts, culture, and contemporary society featuring international guests from a wide range of artistic endeavours. For more information visit www.glenngould.ca.