• Michael

Oscar Peterson Sculpture


Situated on a busy corner of the downtown core of Ottawa, this sculpture is enormously popular. Tourists and locals can often be seen sitting with him or playing the piano, which is clearly visible in the polished parts of the normally greenish-brown patina that forms on bronze exposed to the elements.

Renowned Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy created the Oscar Peterson sculpture in 2010 as a life-size bronze. Her website lists a variety of commissions for sculptures of noted individuals displayed across Canada and parts of the United States. Ottawa seems to have two of her works, the Oscar Peterson piano sculpture shown here and one of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, displayed in Artillery Park.

A plaque to the left of the sculpture reads:

OSCAR PETERSON
1925-2007
Oscar Peterson emerged from the Montreal working class neighborhood known as Little Burgundy to become one of the world's greatest piano virtuosos. His place in the international jazz pantheon is universally recognized.
With this sculpture by Ruth Abernethy, Canada’s National Arts Centre proudly commemorates the masterful contribution Oscar Peterson made during his 65-year career as a musician, recording artist, composer and mentor.
Commissioned by the Oscar Peterson Sculpture National Committee and the National Arts Centre.
This Sculpture was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, June 30, 2010

One of my favorite parts of this piece is the detail. Oscar’s face and clothing are incredible. I like the diamond pattern on his vest and I was really curious about the logo on the piano, Bösendorfer. Apparently, they are an Austrian piano manufacturer dating back to 1828. In 2002 Oscar performed at Bösendorfer's 175th Anniversary Concert and the piano manufacturer created 12 limited edition Oscar Peterson Signature Edition Grand piano to celebrate the artist.

Location Address: Elgin St. and Albert St. (National Arts Centre), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada