How much did Steve Jobs learn from Glenn Gould? (Anything at all?)

It’s widely known that the Apple founder was so enamoured of Gould’s recording of the Goldberg Variations that he arranged for executives to be lectured by experts on Glenn’s pianism.

Not everyone, however, is convinced by the legend.

Toronto psychiatrist Robin Roger has listened to one of the experts and found him wanting. She also has doubts about the meaning of Gould.


In a city that has a Glenn Gould School, a Glenn Gould Studio, a Glenn Gould Foundation, a Glenn Gould subway plaque, two Glenn Gould residential plaques, and a life-size statue of Glenn Gould, a speaker lecturing on this Toronto icon can expect an appreciative audience, especially when he presents him as a paragon of human creativity.  Indeed, unreserved enthusiasm was the response to Professor Joshua Cohen’s presentation: Glenn Gould’s Variations and the Human Qualities that Foster Remarkable Human Creativity, delivered at the Rotman School of Management and co-sponsored by the Glenn Gould Foundation.

This lecture, developed for executives who attend Apple University, a corporate training facility of Apple Inc, the world’s largest technology company, is intended to support that late Steve Jobs’ goal of studying what the best things are, so that the Apple culture will aspire to such heights….

Now read on here.

glenn gould piano stool

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  • Well, it does seem like Jobs and Gould were kindred souls, in that they saw the highest expression of “human creativity” as something technological rather than actually human. It’s a disturbing vision, at least from the perspective of art or the artist.

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