The world learned today of the passing of Alan Rickman, a loss with special significance to The Glenn Gould Foundation.
Alan Rickman was a consummate actor but also a man of deep social conscience, a dry sense of humour and a seemingly boundless well of kindness and generosity.
We came to know Alan through the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Canada’s former Governor General and a long-time friend of his. Adrienne suggested Alan as a participant in our Ninth Glenn Gould Prize tribute to Laureate Leonard Cohen in 2012, and the prospect of that mesmerizing voice reciting the inimitable words of Mr. Cohen was irresistible. Alan’s delivery of Leonard Cohen’s verses was one of the highlights of what proved to be a very special evening indeed.
In the course of preparations for the Ninth Prize, we had the chance to get to know Alan better, and his warmth, charm and wide-ranging intellectual and artistic curiosity made an indelible impression on us. Subsequent meetings only confirmed our admiration and affection.
Alan had hoped to serve as a Glenn Gould Prize juror, but the shooting schedule for the film A Little Chaos (which he directed and in which he gave a memorable performance as King Louis XIV) made that impossible. Sadly, we won’t have the opportunity to reschedule for a later Prize as we had hoped.
Alan did, however, leave us a parting gift. He generously agreed to narrate a video for The Glenn Gould Foundation which sets out the future course for the organization. Post-production work on the video was completed just two days ago, and as always, Alan’s delivery of our message was perfectly delivered, brilliantly modulated, and simply unforgettable. We’re truly saddened that we will not have the chance to share the final results with him, and to thank him properly for his support.
The Glenn Gould Foundation joins the world in mourning the loss of one of the world’s most beloved and distinctive voices. It was silenced too soon.