National Archive Recital Hall

Canada’s National Library and Archives in Ottawa holds a vast collection of Glenn Gould’s manuscripts, papers and possessions. These, along with Gould’s famous Steinway CD318, were presented as a gift to the nation shortly after his death in 1982. In 1996, a plan was developed by Lett/Smith Architects to renovate an auditorium that had never worked for music and, in so doing, provide a home for Gould’s piano. The new acoustics of this intimate 386 seat venue have been greatly improved. The room now services a wide range of events: lectures, cinema and, of course, music.

The room was opened by the late, great pianist Oscar Peterson. Having just suffered a stroke, he could not play Glenn Gould's piano. Which was sad because the two men were good friends. But Mr. Peterson could still speak words of wisdom. Sitting in his wheelchair, he opined that so much of popular music today is about hate. But, as he stated, the best music, the music that will last forever is about love. And isn't that what his music is all about?
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Architect: Lett/Smith Architects
Acoustician of Record: Aercoustics
Principal Acoustician: John O'Keefe

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