Glenn Gould

Inducted in 1983

Glenn Gould is a bona fide Canadian icon who became one of the most famous and celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century. His playing was distinguished by remarkable technical proficiency and capacity to articulate, in particular, the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Gould was born in Toronto in 1932, and enjoyed a privileged, sheltered upbringing in the quiet Beach neighbourhood. His musical gifts became apparent in infancy, and though his parents never pushed him to become a star prodigy, he became a professional concert pianist at age 15, and soon gained a national reputation. By his early twenties, he was also earning recognition through radio and television broadcasts, recordings, writings, lectures and compositions.

Career Highlights


The Glenn Gould Foundation was established in Toronto in 1983 to honour Gould and preserve his memory.


Honoured posthumously in 1983 with induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame for his 1955 recording of Bach: The Goldberg Variations.


Toured the Soviet Union in 1957, the first North American to perform there since the Second World War.


Recorded his first Columbia recording, of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, in 1955, which launched his international concert career.

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Gave his first public performance in 1945, playing the organ, and made his first appearance with an orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the following year.

Video Background


Quick Fact

Gould had only two piano teachers: his mother, Florence, taught him until he was 10; the other was the Chilean-born Alberto Guerrero, until 1953.