Glenn Gould was a Canadian pianist who became one of the best-known and celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century. He was renowned as an interpreter of the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach. His playing was distinguished by remarkable technical proficiency and capacity to articulate the polyphonic texture of Bach's music.
Gould rejected most of the standard Romantic piano literature by Chopin, Liszt, and others, in favor of Baroque, Renaissance, late Romantic, and modernist composers. Although his recordings were dominated by Bach and Beethoven, Gould's repertoire was diverse, including works by Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, pre-Baroque composers such as Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Orlando Gibbons and William Byrd, and such 20th-century composers as Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg and Richard Strauss. Gould was well known for various eccentricities, from his unorthodox musical interpretations and mannerisms at the keyboard to aspects of his lifestyle and behaviour. He stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 to concentrate on studio recording and other projects.
Gould was also a writer, broadcaster, and conductor. He was a prolific contributor to musical journals, in which he discussed music theory and outlined his musical philosophy. As a broadcaster, Gould performed on television and radio, and produced three musique concrète radio documentaries called the Solitude Trilogy, about isolated areas of Canada.