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Composer born July 24. Ernest Bloch (Yes I know, I’m late. )


Ernest Bloch (July 24, 1880 – July 15, 1959) was a Swiss-born American composer.

He wrote some hauntingly beautiful pieces for the viola.

Back in a past life when I was halfway a decent violist,  I played a couple of them.  The piece featured here more Hebraic and less almost avant-garde than the Suite, but both just reach in and grab the longing and yearning in my hear

From Wikipedia ….

Bloch was born in Geneva and began playing the violin at age 9. He began composing soon afterwards. He studied music at the conservatory in Brussels, where his teachers included the celebrated Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. He then travelled around Europe, moving to Germany (where he studied composition from 1900-1901 with Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt), on to Paris in 1903 and back to Geneva before settling in the United States in 1916, taking American citizenship in 1924. He held several teaching appointments in the U.S., with George Antheil, Frederick Jacobi, Bernard Rogers, and Roger Sessions among his pupils. In December 1920 he was appointed the first Musical Director of the newly formed Cleveland Institute of Music, a post he held until 1925. Following this he was director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music until 930.

In 1941 Bloch moved to the small coastal community of Agate Beach, Oregon and lived there the rest of his life. He died in 1959 in Portland, Oregon, of cancer at the age of 78. The Bloch Memorial has been moved from near his house in Agate Beach to a more prominent location at the Newport Performing Arts Center in Newport, Oregon[2].

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6 Responses

  1. A lesson a day 🙂
    Thank you.

  2. To learn more about Ernest Bloch go to this website devoted exclusively to preserving the legacy of this very special composer.

    • Thanks. I have looked at that site, and had meant to include a link here.
      Actually the Agate Beach link in the blog does take you to one of the pages at that site.

  3. A fascinating work. It goes further towards persuading me that a viola is an instrument worth writing for, even if long periods of playing are more taxing on the performer than a violin would be.

  4. Yes, the viola will wear out the best of shoulders and arms (neck, back ,,,) and when you break something on the viola-holdin-up side like I did, it gets damned near impossible, and yet you keep on trying – because it is worth it.

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