Apple and Glenn Gould, Techs Teach 'Bach: Goldberg Variations' to Students at Internal University

By Ian Holubiak on May 04, 2015 09:39 PM EDT

Glenn Gould's infamously eccentric persona and meticulousness in regard to detail are what Apple techs at its internal Apple University are teaching to students. While these characteristics are indicative of leadership qualities, indeed, it's also Gould's departure from convention that is the center of the debate.

But to narrow down the argument, there has to be a single piece to define Gould's complex identity. For professor Joshua Cohen, he focuses largely on the player's 1955 debut recording, Bach: The Goldberg Variations.

In it, Cohen carves out his thesis that his attention to detail was so stark it caused Gould to re-record certain arias for his debut countless times to seek perfection — his willingness to be unreasonable, he says, is what connects Apple and its founder Steve Jobs to its students.

Cohen says on his lectures in the Vancouver Sun, "The conversations we have are conversations about the human qualities that Gould has that are important for doing something that's really extraordinary — in the way that his musical performance was extraordinary."

He continues, "It's his willingness to be unreasonable — meaning, not to worry about the conventional ways of playing things, and to have a strength of conviction about there being a right way to do them."

In the last section of Cohen's presentation, he explores Gould's decision to stay out of the public eye through his performances, abandoning live shows altogether in 1964.

And as VS states, Apple employees do relish discussing Gould's curiosity and enthusiasm for technology.

So for now, Apple and its employees can certainly tip their hats to Mr. Gould and his extraordinary talent.

In the meantime, here are those variations by Gould below.

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TagsApple, Glenn Gould, Joshua Cohen, Bach: Goldberg Variations, Apple University, Vancouver Sun, electronics, tech, steve jobs, Products

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