Glenn Gould: “IN AN UNGUARDED MOMENT some months ago, I predicted that the public concert as we know it today would no longer exist a century hence, that its functions would have been entirely taken over by electronic media. It had not occurred to me that this statement represented a particularly radical pronouncement. Indeed, I regarded it almost as self-evident truth and, in any case, as defining only one of the peripheral effects occasioned by developments in the electronic age. But never has a statement of mine been so widely quoted – or so hotly disputed.
“The furor it occasioned is, I think, indicative of an endearing, if sometimes frustrating, human characteristic reluctance to accept the consequences of a new technology. I have no idea whether this trait is, on balance, an advantage or a liability, incurable or correctable. Perhaps the escalation of invention must always be disciplined by some sort of emotional short-selling. Perhaps skepticism is the necessary obverse of progress. Perhaps, for that reason, the idea of progress is, as at no time in the past, today in question.”
—excerpted from a 1966 article for High Fidelity by the musical genius Glenn Gould. (Large version of concert hall photo.)