Glenn Gould’s beloved piano CD 318 arrives at the NAC

Glenn gould at piano
Glenn Gould © Photo: Don Hunstein Sony Music Entertainment

Stored in the archives of the National Arts Centre (NAC) since Christmas, Glenn Gould’s beloved piano, Steinway CD 318 will soon be unveiled to the public.

The piano will be installed in a permanent location on the Mezzanine level outside of Southam Hall with an exhibition about Gould’s life including an award-winning film produced by Canadian filmmaker Peter Raymont entitled “Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould”.

The piano and Gould’s famous folding chair are a gift from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to the National Arts Centre. The piano and chair were first transferred from Glenn Gould’s Estate to Library and Archives Canada in 1982 soon after his passing. Late last year, the LAC offered to give these wonderful cultural artifacts to the NAC for a permanent exhibition.

“We are very thankful for this rare musical gift from Library and Archives Canada,” said the Acting President and CEO of the NAC Christopher Deacon. “Everyone wanted CD 318 to be displayed in a public place for Canadians to enjoy. It’s an incredible honour for the NAC and makes a beautiful companion piece to our Oscar Peterson sculpture. Now we have two of Canada’s greatest pianists honoured here.”

Glenn Gould’s piano and chair are significant cultural artifacts and are expected to draw thousands of Canadians to the NAC each year. The piano will be exhibited permanently on the Mezzanine level of the NAC outside of Southam Hall, the chair will only be displayed on special occasions.

“He was constantly searching for the perfect piano and instantly fell in love with it,” said NAC Archivist Gerry Grace. “Steinway CD 318 was possibly the most important piano in Glenn Gould’s career. He recorded and performed extensively on it.”

The installation of the piano was made possible through a generous gift from Toronto’s Phil and Eli Taylor. The exhibition will be open to the public as of Friday, June 22, 2012 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

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