Musician's name as best known: Glenn Gould
Index name: Gould, Glenn
Pronunciation: glehn goold
Full name: Glenn Herbert Gould
Also known as: Glenn Gold
Musical identity: Classical pianist
Died: October 4, 1982; Toronto, Canada
Although Gould’s musical career was by no means limited to his recordings and performances, it was as a pianist that he made his considerably charismatic presence most felt. While he lived, he was nearly as infamous for his eccentricities and iconoclastic approach to venerated composers (particularly Mozart and Beethoven) as he was famous for his prolific and excellent musicianship. Since his death, however, both his recordings and his bringing the works of neglected or misunderstood composers to his audience (which was the broadest of any classical solo instrumentalist) have emerged as not only his greatest contributions but also some of the greatest contributions of any classical performer of the twentieth century.
It has been said that Gould was more popular after his death than he was while he lived. Unlike many artists of whom such a statement has been made, however, Gould also enjoyed immense popularity during his lifetime. Indeed, the escalating sales of his many posthumously repackaged recordings were merely a continuation of a long-established trend among lovers of Gould’s music.
Angilette, Elizabeth. Philosopher at the Keyboard: Glenn Gould. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001. A fascinating attempt to construct a coherent philosophy of both art and life from Gould’s many writings and otherwise-documented statements.
Payzant, Geoffrey. Glenn Gould, Music and Mind. Toronto, Ontario: Key Porter, 2005. The latest edition of Payzant’s Gould-approved exploration of the aesthetic and philosophical ramifications of his abandonment of the concert stage for the studio and his utilization of “creative cheating” to construct the best musical performances possible in an era of increasing technological sophistication.