Glenn Gould: A Life in Pictures.


192 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 978-1-55407-289-7
DDC 786.2092





Reviewed by Ann Turner

Ann Turner is Financial and Budget Manager at the University of British
Columbia Library.


Acclaimed Canadian pianist Glenn Gould was an intensely private person, particularly in later life. From his final public concert in 1964 until his death in 1982, he used sound recording and documentary film as his media for musical expression and creativity. This album of more than 200 black-and-white photographs chronicling his life and work was prepared in recognition of the 20th anniversary of his death and the 70th of his birth. It includes many images not previously published: family snapshots of his childhood and teens, at work in rehearsals and recording sessions, and final views of his apartment and studio as he left them. The photographs, drawn from the Glenn Gould Estate, the CBC Archives, Sony Classical, and the Stratford Festival of Canada, are beautifully arranged and extensively documented by Malcolm Lester, the Estate’s literary adviser, and the text is highlighted with quotations from Gould and his contemporaries. Washington Post music critic and Gould scholar Tim Page introduces the album with an intimate biographical portrait in words based on his knowledge of Gould as well as the personal friendship they shared. He reveals the man’s unique views of life and his art, his warmth and humour despite his solitary existence, and his drive to communicate with the world through his chosen media.


Lester, Malcolm., “Glenn Gould: A Life in Pictures.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 12, 2024,