AMERICAN MASTERS artfully pierces through the myths and misconceptions about this humming and hunched figure, whose fingers glided across the piano as no one’s before or since. The film unravels the layers of an iconic, but intensely private, musician who had a revolutionary understanding of the Baroque masters — and a sentimental love for Barbara Streisand and Petula Clark.

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Photo: PBS

A 23-year-old Glenn Gould photographed by Jock Carroll. Nassau Bahamas, 1956.

Gould followed his sensational 1955 New York City concert debut at the age of 22 by taking his talent to the Soviet Union and became an equally prodigious star there. But, after a decade-long thriving international career, he defied the critics and shocked and disappointed his fans by leaving the concert circuit completely.

Gould followed his sensational 1955 New York City concert debut at the age of 22 by taking his talent to the Soviet Union and became an equally prodigious star there. But, after a decade-long thriving international career, he defied the critics and shocked and disappointed his fans by leaving the concert circuit completely.

Told with the benefit of his remarkable recordings and through interviews with those who knew him best — his lover, his manager, his personal assistant, his collaborators — Gould is revealed and newly revered.

Monday at 8:30 p.m. on PBS-HD

American Masters