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Piano Lessons In Toronto: The Top 5 Most Influential Canadian Pianists

Many students begin piano lessons in Toronto because they have been inspired to play after seeing or hearing a great pianist. There have been many influential Canadian pianists throughout history and maybe your journey on the piano or desire to play began after hearing one of them play. Here at Greater Toronto Music School, we think that these 5 Canadian pianists have made the most drastic impact.


Glenn Gould

Glenn Gould

Glenn Gould (1932-1982) was a Canadian pianist, composer, and writer who is considered one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. He was known for his unique interpretations of Bach's keyboard works, his technical virtuosity, and his distinctive musical style. Gould began playing the piano at an early age and made his concert debut at the age of 15. He quickly gained a reputation as a prodigious talent, and his performances were marked by his meticulous attention to detail and his intense concentration.


In the 1950s and 1960s, Gould rose to international fame with his recordings of Bach's keyboard works, which were notable for their clarity, precision, and emotional depth. He also performed and recorded works by many other composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, and Schoenberg. Throughout his career, Gould was known for his eccentricities, including his habit of humming along with his playing and his preference for recording in the studio rather than performing live. He was also an accomplished writer and produced a number of articles and radio documentaries on music.

Gould died in 1982 at the age of 50, but his legacy continues to be felt in the world of classical music. His recordings are still widely admired for their originality and technical brilliance, and his ideas about music and performance continue to influence musicians and scholars around the world.


Angela Hewitt

Angela Hewitt

Angela Hewitt is a Canadian pianist born in 1958 in Ottawa. She began playing the piano at the age of three and gave her first public performance at the age of nine. She took Toronto piano lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music and later studied at the University of Ottawa.

Hewitt's career took off in the 1980s and 1990s, when she gained international recognition for her performances and recordings of Bach's keyboard works. She is widely regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Bach's music and has received numerous awards and accolades for her performances. In addition to her work with Bach's music, Hewitt has also performed and recorded works by many other composers, including Beethoven, Mozart, and Schumann. She is known for her technical skill, her sensitivity to musical nuance, and her ability to bring out the emotional depth of the music she plays.

Hewitt has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras and has given recitals in major concert halls around the world. She has also recorded extensively and has won numerous awards for her recordings, including several Juno Awards, Gramophone Awards, and a Grammy Award. In addition to her performing career, Hewitt is also an active writer and speaker on music-related topics. She has published articles and essays on a wide range of musical subjects and has given lectures and masterclasses around the world.

Louis Lortie

Louis Lortie

Louis Lortie is a Canadian pianist born in 1959 in Montreal. He began piano lessons at the age of six and went on to study at the Montreal Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School in New York. Lortie is known for his performances and recordings of the music of Beethoven, Chopin, and Ravel, among other composers. He is admired for his technical skill, his sensitivity to musical nuance, and his ability to bring out the emotional depth of the music he plays.


Throughout his career, Lortie has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras and conductors and has given recitals in major concert halls around the world. He has also recorded extensively and has won numerous awards for his recordings, including several Juno Awards. In addition to his performing career, Lortie is also an active Toronto piano teacher and mentor to young musicians. He has taught piano lessons in Toronto at the Royal Conservatory of Music and has given masterclasses around the world. He is also a dedicated advocate for the arts and has worked to promote music education and appreciation in Canada and beyond.


Marc-André Hamelin

Marc-André Hamelin

Marc-André Hamelin is a Canadian pianist born in 1961 in Montreal. He began studying the piano at the age of five and went on to study at the École Normale de Musique in Paris and the Juilliard School in New York. Hamelin is known for his technical virtuosity and his ability to play even the most complex music with ease. He has recorded works by many different composers, including Liszt, Alkan, and Medtner, and has received critical acclaim for his performances.


Throughout his career, Hamelin has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras and conductors and has given recitals in major concert halls around the world. He has also won numerous awards for his recordings, including several Juno Awards and Grammy nominations. In addition to his performing career, Hamelin is also a composer and has written works for solo piano, chamber ensembles, and orchestra. He is also a dedicated advocate for new music and has commissioned and premiered works by many contemporary composers.


Hamelin is also known for his work as a musicologist and researcher. He has published articles and essays on a wide range of musical subjects and has edited and annotated scores by many different composers.


Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was born in Montreal and began playing the piano at the age of five. He quickly became known for his technical skill and his ability to play in a wide range of styles. Peterson rose to international fame in the 1950s and 1960s, when he recorded and toured with some of the greatest jazz musicians of the era, including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie. He was known for his virtuosity on the piano, his swinging rhythmic style, and his ability to improvise with great skill and creativity.


Throughout his career, Peterson recorded dozens of albums and won numerous awards, including eight Grammy Awards. He was also a dedicated Mississauga piano teacher and mentor to young musicians, and he worked tirelessly to promote jazz music and jazz education around the world. Peterson was also known for his work as a composer and arranger. He wrote hundreds of original compositions and arranged many classic jazz standards for his own performances and recordings.

Today, Peterson is remembered as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, and his influence can be heard in the playing of countless musicians around the world.



Learning from the greatest players who came before them is important for students taking Toronto piano lessons for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to build a solid foundation of technical skill and musical understanding, as these players have already mastered these elements of piano playing. Secondly, studying the works of great pianists can inspire and motivate students to reach for higher levels of musical excellence. Finally, learning from the greats helps to preserve and continue the legacy of piano playing, ensuring that future generations of musicians will continue to be inspired by the music and artistry of these master pianists. If you are interested in taking your piano playing to the next level or starting your journey, contact us at Greater Toronto Music School to get started with piano lessons in Toronto or online piano lessons today!

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