Oscar Peterson

1992 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Popular Music)

Oscar Peterson is a man who has taken giant steps in the world because of his creative need and love of music. A private man who has led a very public life, he demonstrates an integrated approach to his art, and to living.

A brilliant jazz pianist, his friend Quincy Jones puts it simply: "Who wants to be at the piano when Oscar comes in?" Recruited to play with the best musicians in the world over forty years ago, he has travelled the globe becoming known as "Canada's Musical Ambassador". Equally accomplished as a composer, one of his first works to achieve fame was the Canadiana Suite, and his Hymn to Freedom was an early statement of his views on racial matters.

A deep curiosity and love of knowledge have brought him an understanding of many cultures and of universal problems and through music he has actively demonstrated the ability of all kinds of people to work together. It works in the arts which is why he says: "I guess we have to turn the world into a world of performers."