Bloch, Ernest, 1880-1959

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1880-07-24
Death 1959-07-15
Americans
Hebrew, German, English, French

Biographical notes:

Composer, violinist, conductor, and photographer Ernest Bloch was born on July 24, 1880, in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1894 he began the study of music theory and composition with Emile Jacques-Dalcroze at the Geneva Conservatory of Music, who advised him to continue violin instruction under Louis Etienne-Reyer at the same institution. He studied violin under Franz Schörg of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Belgium, in 1896, and composition in Frankfurt under Ivan Knorr from 1899 to 1901, whereupon he began two years of study of composition in Munich under Ludwig Thuille. He emigrated to the United States in 1916 where he taught and became associated with various music schools across the country and received a number of awards. Bloch died July 15, 1959, in Portland, Oregon.

From the description of Ernest Bloch collection, 1888-1981 (bulk 1912-1959). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71055193

Swiss-born American composer.

From the description of Ernest Bloch letter, 1949 Mar. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 729270180

From the description of Ernest Bloch correspondence and lecture, 1930-1933. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 728689061

From the description of Ernest Bloch letter, 1928 June 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 729240678

Originally composed for piano 1922. Transcribed for orchestra the same year.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of In the night : a love-poem for orchestra / by Ernest Bloch. [1922?]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 48934974

Ernest Bloch was a celebrated composer, conductor, and educator. He was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1880 and educated in various European cities. Bloch came to the United States in 1916 and quickly established himself as a major figure in American music. His taught at the Mannes School of Music in New York City (1917-20), the Cleveland Institute of Music (Director, 1920-1924), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Director, 1925-30), and the University of California, Berkeley.

From the description of Magnes collection on Ernest Bloch, 1925-1972. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 743436248

From the description of Magnes collection on Ernest Bloch, 1925-1972. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71129493

Suzanne Bloch, a teacher and performer of early music, was the daughter of Ernest Bloch.

From the description of Correspondence with Alma Mahler, 1948-1957. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155862963

Ernest Block (1880-1959), American composer, born in Switzerland, resided in Agate Beach, Oregon.

From the description of Ernest Bloch papers, 1950-1958. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38476862

Composer.

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter facsimile to Emile Jacques-Delacroix, 1923 Dec. 4. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 614998545

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to unidentified recipient, 1940 Jan. 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624169853

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to L.J. Rogers, 1939 Mar. 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624169893

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to Pierre Monteux, 1945 Mar. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624169934

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letters to Gisella Selden-Goth, 1942-1946. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624172912

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to [Marya Freund], 1923 Mar. 22. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 406953732

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to Marya Freund, 1924 Feb. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 406953728

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to unidentified recipient, 1945 Dec. 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624169968

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to Pierre Monteux, 1949 Oct. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624171824

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letters to Arthur Hutchings, 1938-1951. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624171767

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to unidentified recipient, 1945 Dec. 28. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624171456

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to unidentified recipient, 1938 Dec. 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624171523

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to unidentified recipient, 1946 Mar. 21. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624171892

From the description of Ernest Bloch autograph letter to Louis Kentner, 1952 Jan. 9. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 624171696

American composer and teacher of Swiss origin.

From the description of Autograph note signed, dated : [Agate Beach, Ore., 19 November 1956], to Joseph Chouinard, 1956 Nov. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270906383

From the description of Autograph letter signed, dated : Griesalp (Kanton Bern), 16 September 1929, to Parker Bailey, 1929 Sept. 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270672862

From the description of Enfantines / 10 pieces for children-- / for the Piano-- / by / Ernest Bloch. Nov. 1923. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270561901

From the description of Schelomo / Rhapsodie hébraïque pour violoncelle solo / et / Orchestre / par / Ernest Bloch. Janvier-février 1916. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270561911

From the description of Modifications in SCHELOMO (to be effected in the orchestral parts). 1/14/1939. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270561914

From the description of Nirvana. April 14th 1923. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270561905

B. July 24, 1880 in Geneva; d. July 15, 1959 in Portland, Oreg.

From the description of Ernst Bloch : Artist File. (International Center of Photography). WorldCat record id: 637076221

Biographical Sketch

  • 1880, July 24: Born, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1889: Began playing violin with Albert Gos, his first instructor
  • 1894: Began music theory and composition studies with Émile Jacques-Dalcroze, Geneva Conservatory of Music Jacques-Dalcroze advised Bloch to continue violin instruction under Louis Etienne-Reyer at the same institution
  • 1896: Composed first orchestral piece Symphonie Orientale of 1896 Began further violin study under Franz Schörg, Royal Conservatory of Music
  • 1899: Left Belgium to study in Germany Studied composition in Frankfurt under Ivan Knorr
  • 1900: Met future wife Marguerite Auguste Schneider at Hoch Conservatory
  • 1901: Began composition studies in Munich under Ludwig Thuille Premiere of Vivre-Aimer at the second Festival of Contemporary Swiss Music, a work inspired by the meeting of Marguerite Schneider and dedicated to teacher Jacques-Dalcroze Met Edmond Fleg in Geneva
  • 1903: Left Munich for Paris, France Met Claude Debussy
  • 1904, Aug. 13: Married Marguerite Schneider
  • 1904: Returned to Geneva
  • 1907, Aug. 7: Daughter Suzanne Bloch born
  • 1907: Began teaching and lecturing in Geneva and Lausanne
  • 1910, Nov. 30: Premiere of the opera Macbeth, on which Bloch and Fleg collaborated since 1904
  • 1912 - 1916 : Composed Israel Symphony
  • 1913: Father died Composed first mature symphonic work, Three Jewish Poems, dedicated to the memory of his father
  • 1916: Arrived in America upon securing position of touring conductor for dancer Maud Allan (persuaded to pursue this post by friend Alfred Pochon) Moved by his pessimistic view of the future brought on by World War I, Bloch composed Schelomo
  • 1917, May 3: Society of the Friends of Music in New York presented all-Bloch concert at Carnegie Hall
  • 1917 June: Returned to Europe
  • 1917 Aug.: Returned to New York with his family Head of theory department, David Mannes School of Music, New York
  • 1919: Viola Suite awarded Coolidge Prize Became affiliated with the Julius Hartt School of Music, Hartford, Conn. Became affiliated with the Joanne Bird School, Peterboro, N.H.
  • 1920: First musical director and instructor, Cleveland Institute of Music
  • 1925: Left Cleveland for San Francisco Director, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • 1927: Composed America: An Epic Rhapsody Awarded Carolyn Beebe Prize for 1926 work Four Episodes
  • 1928: Musical America awarded Bloch $3,000 prize for America
  • 1929: Received honorary membership, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome
  • 1930: Resigned from San Francisco Conservatory Returned to Europe to compose Sacred Service, commissioned by San Francisco's Temple Emanuel
  • 1933: Completed Sacred Service
  • 1938, Mar. 5: Macbeth revived at Teatro San Carlo in Naples
  • 1939, Mar. 17 - 18 : Conducted Boston Symphony in an all-Bloch program that included the premiere of Two Symphonic Interludes, extracted from Acts I and II of Macbeth
  • 1939: Left Europe and moved to Lake Grove, Oregon
  • 1940: Professor, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1941: Purchased home at Agate Beach, Oregon
  • 1947: Honored by the Juilliard School of Music, in conjunction with the League of Composers, for thirty years of service to American music Received Gold Medal in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the first award of its kind
  • 1950: Honored at a six-day festival of his music given by Samuel Laderman (founder of the Ernest Bloch Society) and the Chicago Federation of American Hebrew Congregations in celebration of seventieth birthday
  • 1952: Retired from University of California, Berkeley
  • 1953: Received double award from the Music Critics Circle of New York City for String Quartet No. 3 and Concerto Grosso No. 2 Invited by Italian government to attend series of concert and radio performances of his works, climaxed by the production of his opera Macbeth
  • 1955: Received doctoral degrees from Brandeis University and Reed College Completed the one-movement Proclamation for Trumpet and Orchestra
  • 1957: Composed his last work Two Last Poems
  • 1959, July 15: Died, Portland, Oregon

From the guide to the Ernest Bloch Collection, 1888-1981, (bulk 1912-1959), (Music Division Library of Congress)

Biographical Note

Well known to most as a composer, Ernest Bloch is also recognized for his considerable genius in the field of photography. Bloch took up the camera in his teenage years and constantly documented his experiences using still images until his death in 1959. Throughout his life, he produced over 6000 negatives and 2000 prints that are now housed in the Ernest Bloch Archive at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.

Bloch’s subject matter ranged from landscapes to self-portraits, family portraits, and other images of nature and people that surrounded him. His photographs were praised by such contemporary authorities as Alfred Stieglitz and captured the interest of other prominent photographers, including Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Weston, and Diego Rivera.

The prints in this collection were selected for development as a product of photographer Eric Johnson's exploratory study of relationships between music and photography conducted in the early 1970s. The resulting publication, A Composer’s Vision: Photographs by Ernest Bloch (1972) documents his findings.

From the guide to the Eric Johnson Collection of Ernest Bloch Photographs, 1896-2008, (bulk 1896-1937), (Music Division Library of Congress)

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Subjects:

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