Gould, Glenn (1932–1982) By Beard, Phillip
Glenn Gould was a twentieth-century pianist born in Toronto in 1932. Among his major influences were the recordings of Artur Schnabel (1882–1951), who specialized in Beethoven’s sonatas, and Gould’s Toronto Conservatory teacher Alberto Guerrero (1886–1959). From Schnabel, Gould learned idiosyncratic rubato (rhythmic flexibility, to the point of taking liberties with scored tempi) and from Guerrero he learned an uncanny percussive control of his fingers at the piano keyboard. Gould’s playing had a subtle and impressive dynamic range. His playing became famous for its quirky willfulness, but as central to his style is a delicate technique that at times seemed to strike piano keys with little subjective coloration.