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  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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“Young Artists Inspired by Glenn Gould” Concert

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Rideau Hall, Friday, December 3, 2010

 

It is a pleasure to welcome all of you to this evening of music in tribute to one of the greatest Canadian composers, Glenn Gould.

I am sure many of you know that Rideau Hall, specifically the Long Gallery, is home to one of Glenn Gould’s pianos, a Steinway Grand 1932 of great beauty and sound. It resides here to remind Canadians of the legacy of Mr. Gould’s work. It also serves as a symbol of this country’s musical heritage, one to which the young artists we will hear from are contributing.

Mr. Gould once remarked that the future of music rests with the young. Reading about tonight’s performers, I can see why he thought so. They are all not only immensely talented and already gracing stages across Canada, but also have so much yet to accomplish. I look at them and, like Mr. Gould, I can see the future of music.

They have worked so hard to perfect their craft. They have followed the words of Glenn Gould, who said: “The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenalin but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”

I know that he would be so proud of what they have done with their young lives, and he would be excited to see what they will create for us down the road.

Music is a common language. It affects each of us differently, stirring emotions like a tempest and occasionally changing our lives. The music we will hear—by Bach, Beethoven and Wagner, among others—are pieces that have been played throughout history. But Mr. Gould’s brilliance was that he was able to take familiar music and make it his own.

These young musicians have followed the legacy set down by Glenn Gould and have been granted access into a very select club—that of Canadian artists who amaze with their ability to move us with nothing more than a note.

After all, as Canadian fiddler Natalie MacMaster said: “Music on paper doesn't have personality. You have to put it in your own expression and give it personality.”

I look forward to these performances as much as I look forward to seeing how these careers progress. Although we are here inspired by the memory and talent of Glenn Gould, I have no doubt that these talents will put their own unique character into this concert.

We offer so much to our children because we know they will bring us into tomorrow with renewed hope and with renewed vigour. The youth here today are wonderful examples of what happens when we devote time, attention and resources to education. They have learned from masters in music, and have succeeded because of their ambition and their commitment.

The pieces we will hear have travelled far—from across oceans, to a Canadian music icon, and now to these young artists at Rideau Hall.

Tonight, they have been inspired by Glenn Gould and they, in turn, will inspire us with their focus and with their commitment to music and the arts.

Thank you.