Glenn Gould's piano gets a forever home

Glenn Gould’s historic Steinway CD 318 piano will be set on permanent display at the mezzanine of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa today. The not less famous folding chair Gould’s father made him will also be part of the display, just only on special occasions.

For the past 30 years, the piano and the chair had been with Library and Archives Canada, which transferred the two items to the National Arts Centre last fall. After a few months in storage, what’s possibly Gould’s “most important piano,” according to the NAC’s archivist Gerry Grace, will be set into its permanent display, starting with this morning’s open rehearsal by the 17-year-old piano prodigy Jan Lisiecki.

Gould found the piano by accident in 1960 when he walked into Toronto’s iconic Eaton Auditorium. He started to play  the piano, with which he said he had “a romance with three legs.” That phrase turned into the title of a book by former New York Times journalist Katie Hafner on Gould’s obsessive quest to find the Steinway CD 318.

For those who can’t make it to the rehearsal, the Ottawa Citizen has uploaded this video of Angela Hewitt playing the piano when it was in storage recently.

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