A conversational podcast about the arts, culture, and contemporary society. We talk with artistic heroes working to create a more inclusive and mindful world, hear their incredible stories, and get to know what makes them tick. Our featured guests are leaders in a wide range of fields, nationalities, and lived experience, including musical composers and performers, painters, poets, filmmakers, actors, dancers, broadcasters, and more.
Víkingur Ólafsson - Happy Birthday, Víkingur! - Part 1
Víkingur Ólafsson, Iceland's superstar pianist, engages in captivating dialogue in Part One of his interview on the Gould Standard. From Reykjavik to New York, Ólafsson delves into the profound influence of his Icelandic roots and reflects on his educational journey from early studies with his parents to Juilliard. The conversation unveils a multifaceted glimpse into his musical philosophy, exploring topics ranging from his insights into Bach's Goldberg Variations (which he has just recorded, and which he calls the greatest work of keyboard music ever written) to his nuanced views on music competitions. Ólafsson boldly contends that exceptional art should act as a catalyst for societal discourse, with the potential to overcome divisions, following in the footsteps of one of his inspirations, Glenn Gould.
A Romance on Three Legs
In this special episode of The Gould Standard, Katie Hafner, an accomplished author and journalist renowned for her works like "A Romance on Three Legs," takes the reins as guest host. The book delves into the eccentricities of pianist Glenn Gould and his obsession with finding the “perfect piano” - fabled Steinway concert grand CD-318. Pianist and educator Jim Prosser, upon reading the book, presented a surprising revelation – one of the pianos discussed in Katie’s book is none other than his current instrument. Prosser provides a captivating account of the instrument's history, its encounter with Gould, and its subsequent evolution. The interview offers a unique blend of musical passion, historical context, and personal connection.
If you enjoyed this and other episodes of The Gould Standard, please support the program by giving generously to The Glenn Gould Foundation:
The Glenn Gould Foundation celebrates artistic heroes who exemplify the transformative impact of art on society and the human condition. We honour Glenn Gould’s spirit and legacy by celebrating innovation and excellence, promoting creativity and transforming lives through the power of the arts.
Official Website: https://katiehafner.com
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6938812.Katie_Hafner
Official Website: https://www.jimprosserpiano.com
Glenn Gould Foundation:
Official GGF Website: https://www.glenngould.ca/thegouldstandard
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyeNcs2Ao31H8KOCvUyRn4Q
Recent guests of The Gould Standard:
Neil Gaiman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzcHr74nm5Q&list=PLiAEmTuPXrVship-J6ihn0GKXvC3WgmJ7&index=4&pp=iAQB
Cécile McLorin Salvant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt42tifTDzM&list=PLiAEmTuPXrVship-J6ihn0GKXvC3WgmJ7&index=2&pp=iAQB
Wynton Marsalis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1XPu-_6LIU&list=PLiAEmTuPXrVship-J6ihn0GKXvC3WgmJ7&index=13&pp=iAQB
James Rhodes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj3ppQgJRQE&list=PLiAEmTuPXrVship-J6ihn0GKXvC3WgmJ7&index=7&pp=iAQB
A.R. Rahman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPd6A7Ri0Vw&list=PLiAEmTuPXrVship
Cécile McLorin Salvant - Jamming Beyond Jazz (Part 2 of 2)
In the second segment of this exclusive podcast interview, we continue to explore the remarkable life and achievements of the extraordinary Cécile McLorin Salvant. Beloved for her enthralling narrative flair, impeccable vocal mastery, and passion for traversing an extensive spectrum of musical genres, Cécile McLorin Salvant is one of the few true reigning divas of jazz. But her creativity, curiosity, and wayfaring imagination take her well beyond the boundaries of any one style or genre of expression.
Cécile reflects on her creative process, the inspiration of Abbey Lincoln, French culture, medieval poetry, folk traditions, and her exploration of early American jazz, musical theater, and storytelling within her mesmerizing performances. Cécile discerns parallels between her classical training and jazz vocals, on full display in her recent albums Mélusine and Ghost Song, underscoring her commitment to infuse her singing with depth of feeling, sentiment, and vivid character portrayal.
Cécile McLorin Salvant - Jamming Beyond Jazz (Part 1 of 2)
Beloved for her enthralling narrative flair, impeccable vocal mastery, and passion for traversing an extensive spectrum of musical genres, Cécile McLorin Salvant is one of the few true reigning divas of jazz. But her creativity, curiosity, and wayfaring imagination take her well beyond the boundaries of any one style or genre of expression.
In this revealing conversation, Cécile unveils her musical roots stemming from her Haitian father, French mother, and choir experiences in Miami, later deepening her musical studies in France, where she was originally immersed in classical and baroque music. Following her first prize win at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010, Cécile embarked on a voyage into the jazz milieu.
Cécile reflects on her creative process, the inspiration of Abbey Lincoln, French culture, medieval poetry, folk traditions, and her exploration of early American jazz, musical theater, and storytelling within her mesmerizing performances. Cécile discerns parallels between her classical training and jazz vocals, on full display in her recent albums Mélusine and Ghost Song, underscoring her commitment to infuse her singing with profundity, sentiment, and vivid character portrayal.
Cécile McLorin Salvant:
Official Website: https://www.cecilemclorinsalvant.com
Glenn Gould Foundation:
Official GGF Website: https://www.glenngould.ca/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/GlennGouldFoundation
Neil Gaiman - "I Had To Let It Matter Too Much" (Part 2 of 2)
In the second instalment of The Gould Standard’s sweeping conversation with the best-selling author Neil Gaiman, we venture deeper into his extraordinary literary odyssey, navigating the fine line between artistry and entertainment. Neil shares insights into the unexpected and profound connections his creations, especially the “Sandman” and “American Gods,” have forged between him and his readers.
He unveils the magic of his creative process, an alchemical blend of multi-dimensional elements that fuels his storytelling. Neil takes a stand against the rising tide of book censorship, highlighting the indispensable role of libraries as gateways to a tapestry of ideas and inner worlds. He champions literature’s ability to ignite minds and spur critical thinking, all while paying a vibrant tribute to the influential authors like Lord Dunsany, H.P. Lovecraft and Harlan Ellison, whose enduring impact continues to shape the world of literature and imagination.
Neil Gaiman - "It's Not Sad Bits That Make You Cry" (Part 1 of 2)
Beloved author Neil Gaiman has earned an avid following the world over. Celebrated for his iconic works such as "American Gods," "Good Omens," and the beloved "Sandman" series, Gaiman joined us at the Gould Standard for a candid conversation, opening the door to his imaginative world, ranging from novels and short stories, comics and graphic novels, children’s books and non-fiction, and numerous adaptations for film and television. From sharing personal family anecdotes and early childhood influences to exploring his deep connections with mythology and folklore, Gaiman sheds light on the magic that makes his tales and storytelling so mesmerizing. “It’s not sad bits that make you cry. It’s the bits where you just sort of feel things that are too big to quite fit in your chest, so they come out through your eyes."
This is one of the best executions of a podcast in an extremely saturated media landscape. All the guests are delightfully interviewed in an extremely thought provoking way and have extremely enjoyable conversations. The John Ralston Saul interview is a must listen.
It’s clear that the producers of this deliciously intellectual podcast care more about quality than click-bait theatrics. Instead, they offer a retreat from sensationalist media through conversations with truly incredible individuals whose ideas could very well transform our lives. The listener is left hopeful and inspired by the power of the arts and letters to make the world a better place.