On air tonight: remembering Glenn Gould

Celebrations are under way all across the country this week to commemorate one of Canada’s most revered cultural icons: pianist, broadcaster, composer, writer, conductor and recording artist Glenn Gould (1932-1982). 

Right: Glenn Gould rehearsing at the piano in 1974. Photo courtesy of the National Archives of Canada.

One of the most brilliant musicians of the 20th century, Gould left a formidable, wide-ranging artistic legacy. But he is perhaps best known for his interpretation of the music of J.S. Bach, and in particular, his signature recordings of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

To mark the 75th anniversary of Gould’s birth and the 25th anniversary of his death, Canada’s national public broadcaster is presenting Variations on Gould, a special concert series that will be broadcast live on CBC Radio 2.

Variations on Gould kicks off today at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. Among the eminent Canadian artists showcased in this series is York music Professor Christina Petrowska Quilico.

Petrowska Quilico takes centre stage at the Glenn Gould Studio this evening in a tribute concert titled So you Want to Write a Fugue? The program features 10 new commissions – preludes and fugues based on the letters of Gould’s name – by 10 Canadian composers, performed by 10 Canadian pianists.

Left: Christina Petrowska Quilico

Petrowska Quilico will premiere pieces by two award-winning young women composers: Montreal-based Ana Sokolovic and Kati Agócs, who currently lives and works in St. John’s, Nfld.  

A longtime champion of contemporary and Canadian music, Petrowska Quilico has premiered more than 100 works by leading North American and European composers. She has appeared in recital and with orchestra on major concert stages and at festivals throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Greece and Taiwan, and is heard frequently in radio broadcasts.

Pianists sharing the stage with Petrowska Quilico include Peter Tiefenbach, Stewart Goodyear, Robert Kortgaard and Heather Schmidt. Composers Malcolm Forsyth, Diana McIntosh and Gary Kulesha are among the composers contributing works to the program.  For a full program lineup, visit the Glenn Gould Web site on cbc.ca

So you Want to Write a Fugue? will be broadcast live tonight, from 8 to 10pm on “Canada Live”, CBC Radio 2, 94.1FM.