American entertainment company Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired the music of Glenn Gould, the Canadian pianist who became one of the best-known and most celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century and renowned the world over as an interpreter of Bach.
The assets were formerly owned by the Estate of Glenn Gould that owned Gould's production company, Glenn Gould Ltd.. No terms of the deal have been disclosed.
The acquisition will include his publishing and master royalties, as well as his name and likeness rights.
In September, Sony Classical will release an 8-disc boxed set of his 1955 recordings, Glenn Gould: The Goldberg Variations—The Complete Unreleased Recording Sessions, to commemorate Gould's 85th birthday.
Additionally, award-winning Canadian music journalist Peter Goddard has his biography of the pianist, The Great Gould, published by Dundurn on August 19. The softback draws on his interviews with Gould and on new and overlooked sources to present a portrait of Gould’s unsettled life. It also delves into his radical decision to quit concertizing, his career as a radio broadcaster and his fascination with sci-fi, hi-fi, hockey, Petula Clark, Elvis, jazz, chess, the Beatles, and sex.
The five-time Grammy winner andCanadian Music Hall of Fame and Canadian Walk of Fame inductee died in 1982 at age 50. His tombstone, in Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery, is engraved with the opening notes of The Goldberg Variations.
Primary Wave Founder & CEO Larry Mestel noted, “His innovative approach to music interpretation and his use of technology made acquiring his catalogue an easy choice for us and we look forward to furthering the legacy of this legendary artist."
Among classical artists, Gould was a studio innovator who edited takes to create a perfect recorded performance. He famously stepped away from performing live in 1964 at the age of 32 and only worked in studios.
Among his recordings were two soundtracks, for The Wars (starring Timothy Findley, Brent Carver and William Hutt) and a movie adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
"It is a well-known fact that Glenn Gould embraced technology and would have loved the direct-to-listener experience that is embraced by Primary Wave," said Stephen Posen, Executor of the Glenn Gould Estate.
"In addition, their focus on all musical genres across all media platforms is a perfect fit for Glenn Gould, and we are already excited about the many new perspectives and projects that they are bringing to the table."
Primary Wave Entertainment is one of the largest independent music publishing, talent management, production and entertainment and branding companies in the US. The publishing arm specializes in the acquisition and unique marketing of legendary artists and songs. Since 2006m the company has acquired the copyrights of over 15,000 songs from the catalogues of artists such as Smokey Robinson, Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, John Lennon, Def Leppard, Hall & Oates, Chicago, Maurice White, Graham Parker, Daniel Johnston, Steven Curtis Chapman, Lamont Dozier, Steve Cropper, and CeeLo Green.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story mentioned the not-for-profit Glenn Gould Foundation Inc. The Foundation was and is in no way involved or party to the transfer of assets to Primary Wave Entertainment.