From Frank Geltner
This marks the 55th anniversary of Ernest Bloch’s death on July 15, 1959. July 24 marks Bloch’s 134th birthday. To celebrate this occasion,
Mark and Cindy McConnell of Newport have agreed to open their house for a gathering of supporters of the Ernest Bloch Legacy Project on Wednesday, July 23 at 6:00 p.m. This will be a potluck – salads and byob.
Anyone interested in attending should contact Frank Geltner at 541-961-1482. He will be reporting on developments now in the works.
Bloch was born in Geneva, Switzerland and began playing the violin at age 9. He began composing soon after. 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. He became an American citizenship in 1924.
Bloch held several teaching appointments in the U.S., with George Antheil, Frederick Jacobi, Quincy Porter, Bernard Rogers, and Roger Sessions among his pupils. In 1917 Bloch became the first teacher of composition at Mannes College The New School for Music, a post he held for three years. 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 1930.
In 1941, Bloch moved to the small coastal community of Agate Beach, near Newport and lived there the rest of his life. He taught and lectured at the University of California, Berkeley until 1952. He died in 1959 in Portland, Oregon, of cancer at the age of 78. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered near his home in Agate Beach.
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.