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1995 Symposium and Film Festival, San Francisco, CA

Variations On Musical Genius In Our Time


San Francisco Performances and Health Program for Performing Artists at UCSF Present a One-Day Symposium and Film Festival

Saturday, November 18, 1995
9 AM to 5 PM
Dolby Laboratories Presentation Facilities
100 Potrero Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94103

Glenn Gould, a legendary pianist acclaimed worldwide, remains a controversial figure in terms of the originality of his interpretations as well as his life-long struggle with isolation and medical problems. He was a genius of the media, abandoning the glamour of the concert stage for the confinement of the recording studio.

A prolific and inspiring writer, as well as a gifted composer, he applied his various skills to documentaries and films where he is both performer and commentator. A TV producer of incomparable wit, humour and mind-awakening concepts, his intellectual feats are as awesome as his artistic achievements.

This symposium will probe the life of Glenn Gould and will present preliminary findings which may shed light on his physical and mental suffering. His visionary use of the media will be viewed through his own fascinating musical films.



Welcoming Remarks
Peter Ostwald, M.D.

The Early Years, Toronto, Lake Simcoe

Glenn Gould Off The Record

"Glenn Gould as Patient"
Peter Ostwald, M.D.

Discussion Period
Frank Johnson, M.D., Moderator


Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Cello, Op. 69 No. 3
I. Allegro Ma Non Tanto
Leonard Rose, cello; Glenn Gould, piano (1960)

Glenn Gould About Russian Music (1961)
Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 83
III. Precipitato
Shostakovich Piano Quintet Op. 57
I. Praeludium: Lento

Gould So You Want to Write a Fugue? (1963)



Gould About Concerts (1968)
Bach Concerto in G Minor,
I. Allegro
Glenn Gould with the Toronto Symphony, Vladimir Golschmann,
Conductor (1967)

Berg Piano Sonata Op. 1 (1973)

Dialogue About Schoenberg (1965)
Schoenberg Phantasy for Violin and Piano, Op. 47
Yehudi Menuhin, violin; Glenn Gould, piano

Discussion Period
Frank Johnson, M.D.


"Glenn Gould's Hand"
Frank Wilson, M.D.

Gould About Strauss (1966)

Gould About La Valse (1974)

Ravel La Valse, Poeme Choréographique
(Piano Transcription by Glenn Gould)

Discussion Period
Frank Johnson, M.D., Moderator

Gould About Elektra with Humphrey Burton (1966)
Strauss Elektra
(Piano Transcription by Glenn Gould) excerpt

"Glenn Gould and the Future of Music and Communications"
John Roberts

Radio as Music (1975)
introduced by John Roberts

Walton Scotch Rhapsody (1974-1975)

Discussion Period
Frank Johnson, M.D., Moderator


Gould on Hindemith (1977)
Hindemith Sonata for Trumpet and Piano
Mit Kraft
R. Criseda, trumpet; Glenn Gould, piano

Gould on Scriabin (1974)
Scriabin Désir, Op. 57 No. 1

Gould About Wawa (1968)



"Glenn Gould Plays the Truth"
Robert Silverman

Sir Nigel Twitt-Thornewaite (1977)

Myron Chianti (1977)

Gould Converses with Monsaingeon
Bach Well-Tempered Clavier II
Fugue in E Major (Excerpt)

Gould in Conversation with Monsaingeon (1980)
Bach Partita No. 4 in D Major
V. Sarabande
VII. Gigue

Interview with Maureen Forrester (1982)
Mahler, Symphony No. 2
Maureen Forrester; Glenn Gould, Conductor

Closing Statement
Ruth A. Felt,
President, San Francisco Performances

Bach, Goldberg Variations (1981)


Peter Ostwald, M.D.
After completing his psychiatric training at the Cornell Medical School in New York, Dr. Ostwald joined the faculty of the University of California in San Francisco, where he developed a sound-lab for studying voice changes associated with emotional disorder. He met Glenn Gould in 1957 and was tremendously impressed with his performance at the piano and his remarkable personality. They collaborated in doing a radio documentary on Arnold Schoenberg, and also played chamber music together. For many years Dr. Ostwald has been interested in biographical research and he is the author of "Schumann – the Inner Voices of a Genius" (Boston: 1985) and "Vaslav Nijinsky – A Leap into Madness" (New York: 1991) as well as essays about Brahms, Mahler, Bruckner and other musicians. Ten years ago, with the help of colleagues at UCSF, he organised the Health Program for Performing Artists devoted to understanding and treating the special ailments of this population.

Frank A. Johnson, M.D., Moderator
Dr. Johnson is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He attended St. Ambrose College and graduated from the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois. He studied piano during childhood and adolescence and gave private lessons in Norwalk, Connecticut and Davenport, Iowa. He took his specialty training at the State University of New York at Syracuse where he remained on faculty until 1977. Since then he has been at UCSF except for sabbatical leave in Japan. He has been a member of the Health Program for Performing Artists since 1985. His research interests are in ethnographic studies (Japan/U.S.; alternative healing) and semiotics.

Frank R. Wilson, M.D.
Frank R. Wilson, M.D. is a cofounder of the Health Program for Performing Artists at the University of California, San Francisco, where he currently serves as a consulting neurologist and director of research and education to the program. Since 1980, Dr. Wilson has lectured and published extensively on the neurologic aspects of human musicality, and he has co-directed three major conferences on this topic – two at the University of Colorado, Denver, and the most recent at the University of Rochester. During the academic year 1989-90, he was Guest Professor of Neurology at the University of Düsseldorf, where he was a principal investigator in a study of biochemical and neurological aspects of hand disorders among musicians. He is the author of Tone Deaf and All Thumbs? (Viking-Penguin, 1986) and his second book, The Unseen Hand, will be published by Pantheon Books next year.

John P.L. Roberts
Currently the Seagram Visiting Fellow at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada at McGill University in Montreal, John Roberts stepped down as Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Calgary in June of this year after serving in this capacity for eight years. Born in Australia, Roberts came to Canada in 1955 to become a music producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and subsequently became Head of Music of the CBC English Language radio networks. Later he served as Special Adviser to the Chairman of the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission and was Senior Cultural Adviser at the CBC Head Office in Ottawa. He is the Founding President of the Glenn Gould Foundation (Toronto). Roberts is widely known as a writer and lecturer in the fields of cultural policy and the arts, and is an authority on Glenn Gould who was a close friend and colleague for twenty-seven years.

Robert Silverman
For some twenty years Robert Silverman was editor and publisher of The Piano Quarterly. (During the last decade of Glenn Gould's life he contributed a steady stream of articles to that journal.) Robert Silverman's background includes having been director of publications at several leading music publishers. As a composer he has numerous published works ... his score for Persephone was written for Robert Joffrey and was that choreographer's first successful ballet. A writer of numerous articles overviewing the music world, Silverman serves on advisory committees to several universities and music organizations. The remarkable ability of Glenn Gould to reach into the lives of a wide spectrum of people through the medium of recordings leads Robert Silverman to speculate on the means Gould used to accomplish this task. He examines Gould's approach to music-making and draws upon his memory bank to recall some of their conversations on the subject of musical truth.

Music and Films Selected and Edited By
Lise Deschamps Ostwald

Source: Library and Archives Canada/Music Division/Concert Programme Collection
© Estate of Peter F. Ostwald and San Francisco Performances. Reproduced with the permission of Lise Deschamps Ostwald, San Francisco Performances, the Estate of Glenn Gould and Glenn Gould Limited.

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