Bloch, Ernest

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Bloch, Ernest

Ernest Bloch (blŏk, Ger. blôkh), 1880–1959, Swiss-American composer. Among his teachers were Jaques-Dalcroze and Ysaÿe. He taught at the Geneva Conservatory, 1911–15, and at the Mannes School, New York, 1917–19; he was director of the Cleveland Institute of Music, 1920–25, and of the San Francisco Conservatory, 1925–30. His music is based in the classical tradition, but it has a peculiarly personal intensity of expression and often a distinct Hebraic quality, as in the Hebrew rhapsody Schelomo and the symphonic poem Israel (both 1916). Other outstanding works are an opera, Macbeth (1909); a concerto grosso, for string orchestra and piano (1925); the symphonic poems America (1926) and Helvetia (1929); a modern setting of the Jewish Sacred Service (1933); and A Voice in the Wilderness, for cello and orchestra (1937).

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