The Glenn Gould Foundation: from Bach to Philip Glass


“I think that if I were required to spend the rest of my life on a desert island, and to listen to or play the music of any one composer during all that time, that composer would almost certainly be Bach. I really can’t think of any other music which is so all-encompassing, which moves me so deeply and so consistently, and which, to use a rather imprecise word, is valuable beyond all of its skill and brilliance for something more meaningful than that — its humanity.”

 Glenn Gould


My dear friends and piano lovers, today I’m so honored to have as special guest The Glenn Gould Foundation from Toronto.

We know Glenn Gould as one of the best interpreter of Bach and a visionary communicator. The Glenn Gould Foundation collects the legacy of “the exegete of Bach” and brings to us his indelible memory involving international artists and create a lot of beautiful project as you can see in the Official website the #GivingChallenge

This year in (April 12th – 14th 2015)  the american composer Philip Glass has been chosen as the Eleventh Glenn Gould Prize Laureate.  Through his operas, symphonies, film scores, compositions for ensembles, and wide-ranging collaborations with artists from many disciplines, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary impact on the musical, artistic and intellectual life of his times.

“Our jury has made a brilliant choice in selecting Philip Glass,” said Brian Levine, Executive Director of The Glenn Gould Foundation.  “At the start of his career his music was seen as radical and even derided for being contrary to the prevailing musical current, but his work advanced solidly until it permeated our cultural consciousness; it has exerted a profound influence on a whole generation of composers, filmmakers, dramatists and opera directors.  In his work and life, he reveals himself to be a man of deep spirituality and conscience as reflected in the themes of his operatic creations and film scores. We are honoured to present the Prize to an artist of such originality, conviction and vision.”


“I am very pleased to be the winner of the Eleventh Glenn Gould Prize.  It is for me a special honor as I am one of the many musicians who have been inspired by him. Glenn Gould’s name is associated with a lifetime of excellence in music interpretation and performance. Also I am aware that this award places me in the company of some of the most celebrated names in the broad spectrum of the music of our time. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I accept this award.”

Philip Glass


When and where The Glenn Gould Foundation started. What are the key points about your program (vision and mission)?


The Glenn Gould Foundation is a registered Canadian charitable organization that was established in 1983 in Toronto, following Glenn Gould’s death.  Our mission is to honour Glenn Gould’s spirit and legacy by celebrating brilliance, promoting creativity and transforming lives through the power of music and the arts with the Foundation’s signature activities, including The Glenn Gould Prize. 

Glenn Gould, people know his personality according to the videos that are circulating on the web. He was a great communicator, as McLhuan, he has been able to talk about piano and art all over the media , such as radio and television. Do you think is important, in this new era, to use social media to spread a certain type of music, such as Bach?

It’s really exciting that the world has access to videos of Glenn Gould’s performances, and that they are still so widely viewed and shared. Social media is now one of the biggest means of communication in the world, and we think it’s important to be able to use the internet to share music and other arts with people who wouldn’t be able to see them otherwise.

I read with pleasure the announcement that the american composer and pianist Philip Glass has been named the Eleventh recipient of the Glenn Gould Prize!  Would you like to tell to our readers something about this special occasion?

 This past April, we convened a jury of 10 celebrity artists and arts supporters from around the world, and after intense deliberations they chose Philip Glass as our 11th Glenn Gould Prize Laureate. We’re very excited by their decision and we’re now in the planning stages for the Prize Gala where he will receive the award. Philip Glass is a visionary artist and unique in his field for his work across multiple genres – he has worked in film, theatre, pop and concert music throughout his extensive career. Please stay tuned for upcoming news about the Eleventh Prize events, including the announcement of Mr. Glass’s chosen recipient of the City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize.

11th Prize Jury

In the near future there are some possibilities to create a Glenn Gould project in Europe, or even in Italy? 

 We’re always open to exciting opportunities, and love to collaborate if someone suggests a great project!

The Glenn Gould Foundation recently started an on line project “Piano Week” : how was that experience?

The Piano Week project was actually produced by the CBC, we weren’t really involved. It was a fun project, with posts on all things keyboard related, and it included a lovely video of the Glenn Gould statue that we commissioned from sculptor Ruth Abernathy in 1999. You can see the video (and the rest of the blog) here:!/Piano-Week/blogs/2015/1/Watch-this-beautiful-Glenn-Gould-time-lapse-photo-essay

Do you have any particular anecdote about Gould that would you like to tell?

 Here at The Foundation we’re all big fans of Fran’s Restaurant, which was Glenn’s favourite restaurant and still exists in Toronto today. They recently did a 75th Anniversary promotion where guests could order at 1940s pricing – a burger was 25 cents! Glenn’s favourite meal there was scrambled eggs, white toast and weak tea, but our staff prefers the club sandwich with sweet potato fries.

 Future projects and events?

We’re working hard to plan the Eleventh Glenn Gould Prize Gala for Philip Glass! It will take place in Spring 2016. Right now we’re raising funds through the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, through Canada Helps. Please take a look at our social media for updates on how your support can help us launch our new outreach initiatives and maybe even win $10,000! Plus you’ll have a chance to win some cool Glenn Gould prizes. Follow us (links below) to learn more and keep updated on future events and projects!

Special Dedication by The Glenn Gould Foundation

I really would like to thanks for make this interview possible:

Amy-Lynn Kitchen

Director of Design and Communications

Lilian Belknap 

Operations Coordinator

Kate Foster

Office Manager

and of course  Brian Levine 

the Executive Director