The Solitary Practice of the Vanishing Concert Pianist

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    In 1964, Glenn Gould, one of the eminent concert pianists of his era, shocked many by retiring from live musical performance at the young age of 32. Gould, a noted hypochondriac who would not shake hands with concertgoers, continued the evaporation of his physical body by no longer peddling his wares as a real-time instrumental virtuoso. He gravitated toward the private recording studio—a mediated space of musical expression that combined the utopian optimism of 1960s networked communications with a musical life of relative solitude…