Primary Wave Acquires Glenn Gould Publishing and Master Royalties

Glenn Gould
 Harold Whyte/Toronto Star

Glenn Gould photographed on Oct. 26, 1965. 

Primary Wave Music Publishing, one of the largest independent music publishers in the U.S., has acquired the music rights of legendary Canadian 20th-century classical pianist Glenn Gould. The four-time Grammy Award winner, who also received a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, died in 1982 at age 50. The deal includes his publishing and master royalties, as well as the rights to his name and likeness.

"It is a well-known fact that Glenn Gould embraced technology and would have loved the direct-to-listener experience that is embraced by Primary Wave," said Stephen Posen, sole executor of the Glenn Gould Estate, in a statement. "In addition, their focus on all musical genres across all media platforms is a perfect fit for Glenn Gould and we are already excited about the many new perspectives and projects that they are bringing to the table."

In its 11 years, Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired the copyrights for more than 15,000 songs from such legends as Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Steven Tyler, Smokey Robinson, Def Leppard, Hall & Oates, Chicago, Maurice White, Graham Parker, Lamont Dozier and Steve Cropper.

"We are thrilled to add Glenn Gould to Primary Wave's growing roster of artists," said founder and CEO Lawrence Mestel in a statement. "His innovative approach to music interpretation and his use of technology made acquiring his catalogue an easy choice for us and we look forward to furthering the legacy of this legendary artist."

Gould, who was born in Toronto, was also heavily honored at home, receiving three Juno Awards, a posthumous induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame the year following his death, and a star on Canada's Walk of Fame  in 1998, and was declared a Person of National Historical Significance by the Canadian government in 2012 (eligible 25 years after death).

On Aug. 19, Canadian journalist Peter Goddard releases his book, The Great Gould, which "draws on his own interviews with Gould and on new, and in some cases overlooked, sources to present a freshly revealing portrait of Gould's unsettled life, his radical decision to quit concertizing, his career as a radio innovator, and his deep response to the Canadian environment." And in September, Gould's 1956 recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations will be re-released as part of a commemorative set, Glenn Gould: The Goldberg Variations – The Complete Unreleased Recording Sessions, that includes a comprehensive guide to his life and work.