New film seeks to shine light on Glenn Gould’s private life

Posted on: September 7, 2010

In Friday’s (9/3) New York Times, Larry Rohter writes, “The virtuoso Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is one of those performers, like James Dean or Maria Callas, whose life and legend nearly overshadow their artistic achievements. But since Gould also insisted on keeping his private life shielded, he would seem to be a particularly elusive and unlikely choice for a documentary film that presumes to call itself ‘Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould.’ The Canadian filmmakers Peter Raymont and Michèle Hozer were aware of that obstacle when their project began in 2007, but they still found Gould, who died in 1982 at the age of 50, an irresistible subject. … During his lifetime Gould was often portrayed less as a real person than a collection of tics—perhaps even more so in the many books and films about him that have been issued since his death. At times he has seemed like the Howard Hughes of classical music: a pill-popping hypochondriac who wore gloves, a scarf, overcoat and flat cap even at the height of summer, and who was so averse to physical contact that ordinarily he wouldn’t even shake hands. ‘We wanted to break through that stereotype and find the real Glenn Gould,’ Mr. Raymont said.”

Posted September 7, 2010