Leonard Cohen Awarded the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize

By Glenn Gould Foundation, PRNE
Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Iconic and Innovative Force in Songwriting, Performance and Poetry

TORONTO, April 1, 2011 - Singer, songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen has been awarded The
Ninth Glenn Gould Prize. The international award is presented biennially to a
living luminary who has made a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched
the human condition through the arts and manifests the values of innovation,
inspiration and transformation. A tribute to Glenn Gould's artistry and his
multifaceted contributions to culture, the prize promotes the vital
connection between artistic excellence and the transformation of lives.

"I want to thank The Glenn Gould Foundation for their kindness. It is a
great honour, sweetened by my love of the work of Glenn Gould, and our
collective appreciation of his invigorating and enduring presence in the
world of Music and Imagination," stated Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen was chosen from a distinguished list of international
candidates nominated by the general public and will receive a cash prize of
$50,000 (CDN) and the opportunity to choose an outstanding young artist to
receive The City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize of $15,000 (CDN). Mr.
Cohen and his protégé will receive their awards at a gala ceremony in Toronto
and their work will be honoured through a series of public events later this

Jury Chair Paul Hoffert said, "The jury was unanimous in selecting
Leonard Cohen as the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize laureate. His poetry and music
transcend national boundaries and cultures by touching our common humanity.
His unique voice is nonetheless the common voice of people around the globe
telling our stories, expressing our emotions, reaching deeply into our
psyches. Like Glenn Gould, his work touches audiences far outside his main
genre. Hallelujah!"

The illustrious jury for the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize included
singer/songwriter, indie producer and UN Goodwill Ambassador Dadawa (China);
screenwriter, film and opera director Atom Egoyan (Canada); actor,
screenwriter, author and director Stephen Fry (UK); celebrated pianist,
teacher, author and music administrator Gary Graffman (United States); film
producer, founder and director of DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art and
PHI Group Phoebe Greenberg (Canada); singer, educator and vocal producer
Elaine Overholt (Canada); and recording industry executive Costa Pilavachi

For four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and
influential songwriters of our time, relentlessly examining the central
issues in human experience, and reporting with passion, insight and wisdom.
His body of work is a reflection of the zeitgeist of the late 20th century
and beyond. His songs are works of great poetic depth and profound emotional
force, and set new standards for quality, range and seriousness in pop music.
Artists and music-lovers alike are drawn to the dignity, ambition and sheer
power of his songs.

An accomplished literary figure before he began recording music in the
late 1960s, his collections of poetry, including Let Us Compare Mythologies
(1956) and Flowers for Hitler, and his novels including The Favourite Game
(1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966), had already brought him considerable
recognition. His dual careers in music and literature have continued feeding
each other over the decades - his songs revealing a literary richness rare in
the world of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by an intense
musicality. Collectively, Cohen has published 12 books including Book of
Longing (2006), a collection of prose, poetry and drawings which was the
first book of poetry to reach the top of Canada's bestsellers' lists, and
which formed the basis of a memorable musical and theatre collaboration with
composer Philip Glass which premiered at Toronto's Luminato festival.

Leonard Cohen is one of the most covered artists alive today, influencing
generations of songwriters, and his music has earned the accolades of other
artists in tribute albums in France, Norway, Canada, Spain, the Czech
, South Africa, and the United States. "Hallelujah", one of Cohen's
best-known and best-loved songs has been covered by over 150 artists
including Willie Nelson and Bono. Numerous documentaries, awards, and tribute
albums acknowledge the far-reaching contribution Cohen has made to music. He
continues to refine and deepen his art, and as a musician he is constantly
exploring new territory.

The Glenn Gould Foundation honours Glenn Gould's spirit and legacy by
celebrating brilliance, promoting creativity and transforming lives through
the power of music and the arts with the Foundation's signature activities,
including The Glenn Gould Prize. Past laureates include Dr. José Antonio
(2008), founder of El Sistema, Venezuela's free music education program
for children and youth, Pierre Boulez (2002), Oscar Peterson (1993) and Yo-Yo
(1999). For more information on the foundation, prize and jurors visit
www.glenngould.ca .

    For further information:

    Media Contact:

    Karen Lorenowicz, KL Strategic Communications, +1-416-243-0168,

For further information: Media Contact: Karen Lorenowicz, KL Strategic Communications, +1-416-243-0168, karen.l at sympatico.ca

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