Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some Guys Just Look Gay

The pianist Glenn Gould, a lifelong bachelor, gave to many the impression of being homosexual. His life centered around his apartment in a large, low-rise apartment building near Avenue Road and St. Clair Avenue in Toronto and his recording studios. He was an habitué of a coffee shop called Fran's at Yonge and St. Clair. His life focused narrowly on his favorite piano and his radio and television performances. Most of his friends were recording people and technicians.

Glenn Gould lived a private life: Bruno Monsaingeon said of him, "No supreme pianist has ever given of his heart and mind so overwhelmingly while showing himself so sparingly."

In 2007, Cornelia Foss, wife of composer and conductor Lukas Foss, publicly claimed that she and Gould had had a love affair lasting several years.  She and her husband had met Gould in Los Angeles in 1956. Cornelia was an art instructor who had studied sculpture at the American Academy in Rome; Lukas was a pianist and composer who conducted both the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

After several years, Glenn and Cornelia became lovers. Cornelia left Lukas in 1967 for Gould, taking her two children with her to Toronto, where she purchased a house near Gould's apartment, at 110 St. Clair Avenue West. According to Cornelia, "There were a lot of misconceptions about Glenn, and it was partly because he was so very private. But I assure you, he was an extremely heterosexual man. Our relationship was, among other things, quite sexual." Their affair lasted until 1972, when she returned to Lukas.

As for me, I am extremely asexual.

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

As early as two weeks after leaving her husband, Cornelia Foss had noticed disturbing signs in Gould. She describes a serious paranoid episode:

"It lasted several hours, and then I knew he was not just neurotic—there was more to it. I thought to myself, 'Good grief, am I going to bring up my children in this environment?' But I stayed four and a half years." Foss did not discuss details, but others close to Gould said he was convinced someone was trying to poison him and that others were spying on him.