Frank Gehry: I used to be Goldberg

Frank Gehry: I used to be Goldberg


norman lebrecht

April 15, 2022

From the architect’s recent interview with a Financial Times supplement:

My family name was originally Goldberg and we lived in Toronto, which is where Glenn Gould did the Bach Goldberg Variations. I loved listening to them – I still do. It was a big, important part of my life.

‘(We) were kind of poor but (my mother) would take me to concerts at Massey Hall. The conductor was Ernest MacMillan, and he used to ride his bicycle through the park where I walked to school, so we often talked.’


  • zayin says:

    Frank Gehry, né Ephraim Goldberg, used to listen to Gould”s Bach Gehry Variations? ; )

    (That explains a lot about his convoluted architecture.)

  • John Borstlap says:

    The picture shows a typical Gehry design. First he draws a normal modernist building, then folds the paper, and send it to the builder, who gets a serious head ache and mariage troubles.

    • Mary says:

      The first time I actually walked into a Gehry building, it was a totally deflating experience:

      The outside is pure facade screwed onto an ordinary rectangular box building underneath.

      The inside is just plain ordinary recto-linear walls and rooms.

      • John Borstlap says:

        It can go worse: in some buildings by Zaha Hadid – structures folded and twisted inside and outside – some people get lost forever, literally or mentally.

  • Steve Proser says:

    Frank Gehry used to be this guy?!?!

  • Fabrizio SCOTTO DI SANTOLO says:

    We were “poor”…maybe he does not understand the power of words

  • Nick2 says:

    Such put-downs are ridiculous of a great architect, many of whose buildings have become iconic symbols in their own right. The Guggenheim in Bilbao all but rescued tourism in that decaying town. And the Walt Disney Hall no doubt attracts visitors to the LA Phil and other performances.

    • John Borstlap says:

      No; such buildings are forced attempts to put a hughe object at a certain spot as an ‘artistic expression’ of the ‘starchitect’. These people are responsible for a lot of damage done to the fabric of cities and towns (think for instance of London or Paris). When you read about what these people say, the totalitarian arrogance bordering on fascism becomes embarrassingly clear. Almost ALL of those quasi-artistic objects are not only damaging city scapes but also bad for the climate, they require abnormal heating and/or cooling, and when they break down after ca. 40 years, demolitions are as bad for the environment as their building was. Well-known architects like Léon Krier and Steven Semes have written extensively about the disaster modernist architecture has been – it is a fruit of the last century when all the problems the world is facing nowadays, have been created.