On today’s date in 1982, famed Canadian pianist Glenn Gould died in Toronto, Ont.
It was Sept. 27, 1982 – only a few days after Gould’s 50th birthday and about a week after the release of his best-selling second recording of the Goldberg Variations – when he suffered a massive stroke. He eventually died on Oct. 4, 1982.
Gould’s unexpected death made international headlines as he was known worldwide for his eccentricities.
“I remember him as an odd young man,” said Canadian opera singer Maureen Forrester in an interview with CBC News.
Gould has originally catapulted onto the world stage at the age of 23, when he released his initial recording of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which is considered among the most difficult pieces ever composed on piano. Nearly a decade later, in 1964, he would quit performing live and declare “the concert is dead,” something that shocked international audiences.
On Dec. 17, 1999, Canada Post commemorated Gould on a 46-cent multi-coloured stamp (Scott #1820b) printed by Ashton Potter on Tullis Russell coated paper using offset lithography. It was issued as part of a four-stamp pane celebrating “Extraordinary Entertainers,” which also included Portia White (SC #1820a); Guy Lombardo (SC #1820c); and Felix Leclerc (SC #1820d).