Seeking Solitude: Glenn Gould and the Goldberg Variations


Penumbra Press has just released Seeking Solitude: Glenn Gould and the Goldberg Variations by Sault Ste. Marie musicologist, pianist, piano teacher, and now author Dale Innes. For years, Innes has had a passion for the work of the legendary and eccentric Canadian pianist, and in particular with his interpretations of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”. The fact that Gould had an affinity with northern Ontario, especially Wawa and the North Shore of Lake Superior, has sharpened her interest even more.

Beginning with Gould’s early piano studies with his mother, who as a teenager lived and studied music in Sault Ste. Marie, and with the famous Alberto Guerrero at the Toronto (Royal) Conservatory of Music, Innes takes the reader through Gould’s international concert career to his decision to stop concertizing in order to focus on recording and broadcasting. She also examines the influence that Northern Ontario had on his desire for solitude and for artistic inspiration. From a musicologist’s point of view, the book critically evaluates the authenticity of his interpretation of Baroque music and the dynamics behind audience receptivity of this music. This book is fascinating reading for musicians and the layman alike.

Innes’s own career has led her steadily towards this project. She spent years as the music coordinator for Algoma University, as a piano teacher for the Algoma Conservatory of Music, and as a senior piano examiner with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She currently runs a private piano studio, and is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association and a Research Associate of the NORDIK, a research  institute affiliated with Algoma University. In 1999, she coordinated the Glenn Gould Northern Tour with the Glenn Gould Foundation, a tour that brought Gould specialists and enthusiasts from around the world to Gould’s favorite spots around Wawa and its environs. Since 2008, Innes has been an organizer and presenter for Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT)’s annual Group of Seven and Glenn Gould Train Event.

The book is now available at the Art Gallery of Algoma, 10 East Street, and Shabby Motley, 356 Queen St. East. It is also available from Penumbra Press ( On January 30th 2016, the author will be available for book signings and give a presentation about her work at the Art Gallery of Algoma (details TBA).

For further information, please contact Dale Innes at 705.575.4917 or email [email protected].