The Glenn Gould Prize
From Celebration to Inspiration to Transformation
The Glenn Gould Prize is awarded to an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts.
The Glenn Gould Prize promotes the vital connection between artistic excellence and the transformation of lives. Each Glenn Gould Prize Laureate also chooses an outstanding young artist to receive The City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize.
The life’s work of a Glenn Gould Prize Laureate embodies this connection. Second Prize Laureate Lord Yehudi Menuhin (Great Britain) was a beloved violinist and conductor who also founded a school to nurture the talents of gifted children. Third Prize Laureate Oscar Peterson (Canada) made exceptional contributions to music and humanity as an unparalleled jazz pianist with a deep commitment to universal freedom, civil rights and mentoring youth. Sixth Prize Laureate Yo-Yo Ma (USA) is one of the most revered cellists of the modern age and founded the Silk Road Ensemble, an arts and educational organization that engages artists and audiences around the world in multicultural exchange.
The Tenth Glenn Gould Prize (2013)
The Tenth Glenn Gould Prize Laureate will be announced on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at a press conference at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Click here to read about the Tenth Glenn Gould Prize jury and events in February 2013.
The Ninth Glenn Gould Prize (2011)
On April 1, 2011, an international jury of artists and arts professionals gathered together by The Glenn Gould Foundation announced their selection of Canada’s iconic singer-songwriter, superstar Leonard Cohen as the Ninth Prize Laureate. A spectacular celebration of Cohen’s words, music, life and legacy, attended by Leonard himself took place in May 2012.
The Eighth Glenn Gould Prize (2008)
Eighth Prize Laureate Dr. José Antonio Abreu (Venezuela) demonstrates the transformative power of the arts through his visionary social program called El Sistema, the national network of free music education and orchestras for at-risk youth in Venezuela.
Over a million children have been saved from gangs, drugs and poverty since the program began 35 years ago, and the El Sistema model is currently being adopted in more than 25 countries. The program’s top graduates travel across the globe in the 250-member Símon Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, one of the highest ranked musical ensembles. El Sistema alumnus and superstar conductor, Gustavo Dudamel was chosen by Dr. Abreu as his City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé.
The Celebration of Music Week
In October 2009, an historic series of events in Toronto began with the Prize gala concert featuring the greatest symbol of Dr. Abreu’s work: Gustavo Dudamel and the Símon Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in their Canadian debut.
The Celebration of Music week reached an audience of over 20,000 students and youth, parents, educators, arts aficionados, journalists and policy-makers experiencing El Sistema firsthand through specially designed events. Highlights included $150 000 worth of instruments donated to children in Venezuela; 14 intimate concerts at high schools and community youth centres featuring the Venezuelan chamber ensembles; The Promise of Music International Symposium on Music Education at The Royal Conseratory; Dr. Abreu’s first speeches in Canada; and an electrifying conclusion of events at a stadium concert for over 12,000 students from across the province of Ontario.
The selection of Dr. Abreu as Laureate expresses the values of innovation, inspiration and transformation embodied by The Glenn Gould Prize.
2011 Leonard Cohen
2008 José Antonio Abreu
2005 André Previn
2002 Pierre Boulez
1999 Yo-Yo Ma
1996 Toru Takemitsu
1993 Oscar Peterson
1990 Yehudi Menuhin
1987 R. Murray Schafer
History and Facts
The Glenn Gould Prize was created as a tribute to Glenn Gould’s artistry and his multifaceted contributions to culture. The Glenn Gould Foundation—an international cultural institution that celebrates Gould’s spirit and legacy—gathers The Glenn Gould Prize Jury, oversees the nominations process and presents the award celebrations as its signature activities.
Prize Laureates receive a C$50 000 award and The Glenn Gould Prize sculpture by Canadian artist Ruth Abernethy. The City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize winners receive C$15 000 and The Glenn Gould Award.
A permanent collection of official Prize Laureate portraits is on display at The Glenn Gould Studio (Canadian Broadcasting Centre Studios) in Toronto.
Past Glenn Gould Prize Jurors include winners of the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Olivier Award, Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters, the Grammy and the Juno.
Beginning with the Ninth Prize (2011), The Glenn Gould Prize is now given every second year.