By Penny Johnson, Contributing Author
In the case of every interview I have done with friends and colleagues of Glenn Gould, what strikes me most is the precious quality with which they reminisce about their time with the artist. More than anything, I am left with the knowledge that apart from being a genius of the highest order, the thing that sets Glenn Gould apart from others is the compassion he demonstrated towards his fellow man. My favourite comment comes from former CBC technician and long-time Gould friend, Lorne Tulk, who remarked: “Believe me when I say that Mr. Glenn worked very hard every minute of everyday at being good.”
After a number of conversations with individuals who worked alongside Gould on the technical side of things (Lorne Tulk, Peter Shewchuk, Marianne Schroeder, and John McGreevy to name a few), I was fortunate enough to speak with a fellow musician, Dutch-born Canadian cellist, Coenraad Bloemendal, who worked with Gould on a number of occasions throughout the mid-1970s until Gould’s death in 1982. A graduate of the Amsterdam Conservatory and Indiana University, where he studied with the legendary János Starker, Bloemendal came to Canada in 1971 where he quickly established himself as one of the country’s outstanding cellists.