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Glenn Gould @ 80: Ottawa's Music and Beyond festival trumpets donation of four chairs identical to pianist's creaky perch

By John Terauds on September 17, 2012

Glenn Gould and his folding chair in the 1950s.

The lead up to what would have been Glenn Gould’s 80th birthday has taken a creaky and slightly surreal turn with Ottawa’s Music and Beyond Festival‘s announcement that it has received four folding bridge chairs from a patron that are identical to Gould’s low-slung perch.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

“Had the Music and Beyond chairs been discovered during Gould’s lifetime, he almost certainly would have welcomed having a chair identical to The Chair in its original, more comfortable version,” says the press release.

“One of the chairs donated to Music and Beyond was taken into the storage facility of Library and Archives Canada and carefully compared to The Chair. It is clear that these chairs are identical to the original chair that Gould played on throughout his career. They were made in London, Ontario by Hourd & Company, in the 1930s. The four Music and Beyond chairs are in excellent condition and even have the original green seat covers.”

This assumes that it was the type of chair that Gould was attached to, and not the particular object itself.

Would Schroeder enjoy a fresh, new security blanket as much as the ratty one he dragged through decades’ worth of Peanuts comic strips?

As with so much to do with Gould, now an international brand that needs to be managed with great care, all of this seems superfluous to his legacy as a creative mind and musician.

And for those who care more about object than artist and value a facsimile more than the real thing, two of these bridge chairs have been put up for auction on eBay, with a starting bid of $10,000 U.S. Bidding closes on, you guessed it, Sept. 25.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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