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Paul Kantor on What Makes The Glenn Gould School Unique

Applications are closing on December 15 for the Toronto-based conservatory


Open to international pianists, vocalists, and orchestral instrumentalists, applications are now being accepted for The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School (GGS) in Toronto, Canada.

Students can apply to the Undergraduate Bachelor of Music, Post-Bachelor Artist Diploma, and the Post-Graduate Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program.

One of the leading post-secondary music performance training institutions in North America, GGS offers substantial scholarships to every student for the duration of their program. Applications close on December 15, 2023.

We had a chance to chat with Paul Kantor, violinist and pedagogue at GGS, to learn more about the institution and its programs.


Can you tell us about The Glenn Gould School? What sets it apart from other conservatories in your opinion?

I think of The Glenn Gould School (GGS) as a boutique school. Its compact size allows for a highly personalized educational experience where the students benefit from a wide range of performance opportunities and extensive contact with faculty as well as superb visiting artists. That being said, while GGS is small, it is actually housed in the much larger Royal Conservatory of Music, one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world which also operates one of the largest music presenting series in the country, so you might also see students in the building chatting with Yo-Yo Ma, the Danish Quartet or Augustin Hadelich when they visit. It is a very unique environment.

Another benefit of being a smaller independent institution is that curricular innovations and improvements can be made rather quickly. It has been thrilling to watch and experience the curricular progress of the school during the sixteen years I have been teaching at GGS!


Students have access to high-end facilities in which to play and perform. Can you tell us more about those?

The school has two lovely performance spaces, one more formal and historic, the other more contemporary and flexible, and these are in addition to Koerner Hall which, in my opinion, is one of the great acoustic performance venues in North America, if not the world. Students at GGS actually have the opportunity to be a part of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra that plays in Koerner Hall four times throughout the year with acclaimed guest conductors. There is also 24/7 access to over 100 practice rooms with exceptionally well-maintained pianos.


What is one quality you and all the other faculty members share?

We share an incredible love for the arts and believe in its importance in our society. We also all share an unusually collaborative, non-competitive, supportive environment at the faculty level and promote that across the student body.


What are you looking for in a potential student?

Beyond the expected qualities of demonstrable instrumental and musical accomplishment, I am interested in people who are clearly passionate about what they do and hungry to go further. Curiosity, imagination, dedication, and kindness to others will certainly help the new student fit into our little society.


What knowledge/experience do you think all students should graduate with?

While continuing one’s studies with a private teacher is very important, it’s also important that our students become self-sufficient. If our students leave with a good combination of curiosity, work ethic, and collaborative spirit, they will be well-positioned for success.


How is the school preparing students for transitioning into the professional world?

The entire experience at The Glenn Gould School is preparing our students for the professional world. To walk into the first orchestra rehearsal in the Fall is to see an approach that more resembles a professional orchestra than that of a school. The practice of shutting down all other curriculum during an orchestra project week and allowing the students to focus solely on the orchestra is akin to what they will experience in the professional world. Gone are the days of many weeks of rehearsal leading to performance. The expectation is to arrive prepared and ready to achieve extraordinary results.


How can people go about applying?

They can visit Admissions | The Royal Conservatory of Music (rcmusic.com) where they will find all of the application information. Remember that applications are due December 15, so there’s still time to apply!

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