Once Bloch arrived in the United State in 1916, his life connected to many people and organizations.

The Flonzaley Quartet was a string quartet organized in New York City in 1902. Founded by Edward J. De Coppet, it consisted of violinists Adolfo Betti and Alfret Pochon, violist Ugo Ara, and cellist Iwan d’Archambeau; the group took its name from De Coppet’s summer villa in Switzerland, where the four musicians first rehearsed. The Quartet toured Europe and the United States in 1904, and performed worldwide until disbanding in 1928 after a farewell tour that ended on April 14 in London. Ara was replaced as violist by Louis Bailly from 1917 until 1924; he in turn was replaced by Félicien d’Archambeau, who remained with the group until it disbanded.

David Mannes Music School
Ernest Bloch taught at Mannes (then called The David Mannes Music School; the school did not become “Mannes College of Music” until the early 1950s, when it began to offer college degrees) during its second (1917-18) and third (1918-19) years.

Bloch’s course listing in the 1917-18 catalog is as follows:

“Mr. Ernest Bloch will teach composition, orchestration, and advanced theory and will give two courses of lectures, five lectures each.  The subjects of the first course are:

I) The Soul of Art
II) The Soul of Music
III) The Aesthetic Unrest of our Time
IV) The Constraint of Form
V) Liberation Through Form

The second course of lectures will show that modern music is not a revolution, but an evolution (subjects to be announced later).”

In the 1918-19 catalog, Bloch is listed as teaching a course of eight lectures for teachers on “How to Study and Analyze a Musical Work of Art.”  In addition to these lectures, Bloch taught courses on harmony, counterpoint, fugue, instrumentation and orchestration, and musical form.

Rosario Scalero (viola player of the Flonzaley Quartet) was Bloch’s successor, and began teaching in the 1919-20 school year.

The following quote about Bloch’s teaching appears in David Mannes’s autobiographical work, “Music is My Faith,” second edition (New York: “By His Friends,” 1949).

“A man of brilliant and dynamic qualities, he was, we soon found, born to create and not to oberve a teacher’s schedule and a routine scholastic timetable.  His appeal must naturally be made to great metropolitan audiences, not constructively in the small classroom nor to the isolated pupil over a long period.  This does not mean that as a teacher he was not illuminating and fervid over a brief period, nor that his personality did not leave an indelible impression on those fortunate enough to come in contact with him.  His was a distinct service to the school which we cannot forget.” (Pg. 243)

Cleveland Institute of Music
The mission, proclaimed by Mr. Bloch (1920-1925), relayed the forethought which has guided The Institute through its history. “Musical education, in addition to the thorough study of technique, ought above all else, to develop qualities of appreciation, judgment and taste, and to stimulate understanding and love of music.”

The dream of a conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio became a reality in April 1920 when a small group of founders each contributed $1000 to establish a “school of music where every type of student could find opportunity for the best musical education.” Temporary studios at the Hotel Statler sufficed until a facility was found.

The Cleveland Institute of Music opened its doors on December 8, 1920 at 3146 Euclid Avenue in a grand house with grand ideals. Ernest Bloch (1920-1925), the esteemed composer, was named the first Musical Director, and Mrs. Franklyn B. Sanders became Executive Director. The mission, proclaimed by Mr. Bloch, relayed the forethought which has guided The Institute through its 75 years, to be celebrated in grand style beginning this April. “Musical education, in addition to the thorough study of technique, ought above all else, to develop qualities of appreciation, judgment and taste, and to stimulate understanding and love of music.”

Willard M. Clapp was President of the Board. Faculty were already in place. Nathan Fryer, a pupil of Leschetizky, taught piano and ensemble. Cleveland Orchestra members, Louis Edlin, concertmaster, and Victor de Gomez, first cello, were hired. For a term of 24 weeks, at a cost ranging from $150 to $500, one could study an instrument, theory and composition, chorus singing or ensemble, and rhythm and ear training.

By the second calendar year, Beryl Rubinstein (later, a Director) and Ruth Edwards (future chairman of the Preparatory piano department) had joined the piano faculty. The twenty-person faculty included André de Ribaupierre, violin, Edwin Arthur Kraft, organ, Jean Binet, Dalcroze Eurhythmics and theory, and Roger Sessions, composer.

Moving to 2827 Euclid Avenue in November 1922, The Cleveland Institute of Music established a preparatory division “to awaken the feeling for rhythm and develop the sense of observation and discrimination.” Dalcroze Eurhythmics took a central position at The Institute, having been taught for the past ten years throughout Europe. The two-year course in the “art of expressing musical ideas by means of bodily movements” was a requirement for all students at The Cleveland Institute of Music.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music
In 1917, local pianists Ada Clement and Lillian Hodghead opened the doors of the Ada Clement Piano School. Located in the remodeled home of Lillian’s parents, the school began with three pianos, four studios, two blackboards and forty students. Enrollment grew quickly and recognizing the need for a music conservatory on the West Coast, the school incorporated in 1923 as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Classes were now offered in many individual instruments, as well as in theory, composition and voice. Among the early students nurtured by the Conservatory were two of our era’s greatest violin virtuosos—Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin. In 1924, the eminent composer Ernest Bloch was engaged to teach a five-week summer course. The course was a resounding success and Bloch was soon hired as Director, beginning his tenure the following year. Bloch (1926-1930) served as Director for five years, where his musical vision, international reputation and skills as a teacher helped implement a tremendous expansion for the school. When Bloch left the Conservatory in 1930 to compose full time, Ada and Lillian resumed the leadership of the growing institution.

UC Berkeley

Inventory of the Ernest Bloch Collection, 1892-1958 (bulk 1919-1958)

The Western Jewish History Center (WJHC) was established in 1967 at the Judah L. Magnes Museum to collect, preserve, and provide access to archival and oral history documentation about the Jewish community in the American West. The center was created by Seymour Fromer under the direction of Moses Rischin, and from an early stage saw the involvement of a series of archivists and local historians, including Ruth Kelson Rafael, Fred Rosenbaum and Ava Kahn.

The archival collections created under the Western Jewish History Center are now part of the Western Jewish Americana archives of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the Bancroft Library, and encompass the entire western United States beginning with the 1849 Gold Rush and continuing to the present, with a specific focus on the Jewish experience in California and the San Francisco Bay Area.

WJHC Collection No. 1978.009

BLOCH, ERNEST, 1880-1959 — Papers, 1926-1974 — 1 manuscript box



Ernest Bloch was a noted composer of contemporary Jewish music.  His best known works include Schelomo, Israel Symphony, Sacred Service, and Rhapsodie Hebraic, compositions with Jewish themes.  He was the winner of a Musical America contest for his work America, which was premiered by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, with Alfred Hertz as conductor, in 1928.

Ernest Bloch was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1880.  He studied music there and in France, Germany and Brussels.  After his studies, he lectured at the conservatory in Geneva.  He visited the United States and became a citizen in 1924. Mr. Bloch directed the Institute of Music in Cleveland from 1920-1925, after which he served as the artistic director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music until1930.

In 1930 he returned to Switzerland and devoted his time entirely to composition.  It was while in Switzerland that Mr. Bloch composed Sacred Service.  He returned to the United States in 1939, when he began a series of annual lectures at the University of California, Berkeley.

**In March 1930 Bloch became the recipient of the Jacob and Rosa Stern Fund that provided him with $5000 a year for a ten-year period (see Lewinski and Dijon,

Ernest Bloch died in 1959, in Agate Beach, Oregon.


The collection is comprised of biographical information, correspondence, lectures notes, discography, awards, programs, announcements, articles, holding lists, Ernest Bloch Society bulletins and brochures, and photographs.

Of special interest may be Bloch’s correspondence with Reuben Rinder (cantor of San Francisco’s Congregation Emanu-El) and Albert Elkus, describing his feelings toward his music, his visions of a great music center in San Francisco, and his opinions of others; notes and correspondence regarding his Sacred Service; and an article about Bloch’s interest in photography.

Western Jewish History Center: Juday L. Magnes Museum

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, formerly known as the Judah L. Magnes Museum from 1961 until its reopening in 2012, is a museum of Jewish history, art, and culture in Berkeley, California. Wikipedia

The main body of correspondence, donated by Lillian Hodgehead to the University in 1962 spans the years 1919-1958. It consists of letters written by Bloch to Lillian Hodgehead (initials LH) and Ada Clement (initials AC) or both of them (joint). Lillian Hodgehead and Ada Clement were Bay Area musicians/teachers/ administrators long connected with the San Francisco Conservatory and were instrumental in bringing Bloch to the Bay Area as a teacher/administrator at the Conservatory in the 1930s. There are 595 letters in this series.

Other correspondents include Albert Elkus, head of the Music Department during Bloch’s professorship at U.C. Berkeley; correspondence with Alfred Hertz, Frank Jacobi, Boaz Piller, Rabbi R. Rinder regarding the Sacred Service, and others. The archive also includes Bloch’s correspondence with the U.C. Berkeley Music Department, his notes on the Sacred Service, newspaper articles (including press criticisms) on performances of his compositions, original program notes, periodical articles about Bloch and his work, music publishers’ promotional flyers, tapes of summer lectures at UCB 1957-1958, photographs of Bloch, medals and his doctoral hood.

Ernest Bloch Lectures, 7, George Perle, (Published June 1990)

    The Listening Composer

Ernest Bloch Lectures, 8, Richard Crawford (Published October 1993)

    The American Musical Landscape: The Business of Musicianship from Billings to Gershwin, Updated With a New Preface

Ernest Bloch Lectures, 9, Laszlo Somfai (Published May 1996)

    Béla Bartók: Composition, Concepts, and Autograph Sources

Ernest Bloch Lectures, 11, Jonathan Harvey (Published June 1999)

    In Quest of Spirit: Thoughts on Music

Ernest Bloch Lectures, 12, Susan McClary (Published May 2000)

    Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form

Ernest Bloch Lectures, 13, Roger Parker (Published April 2006)

    Remaking the Song: Operatic Visions and Revisions from Handel to Berio

Ernest Bloch Historical Chronology

Ernest Bloch Collection
Eastman School of Music – Sibley Library

Ernest Bloch Collection
Library of Congress, Music Division

Center for Creative Photography

University of Arizona

The Ernest Bloch Archive at the Center for Creative Photography consists of materials documenting Bloch’s career in photography. In addition to about 100 photographs, the archive includes memorabilia, cameras, albums, copies of letters from photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand, and the death mask made at the time of the composer’s death in 1959. The bulk of the collection consists of photographic negatives and transparencies made between 1897 and 1951. Most of these have been printed for research use.

Mes Musiques regenerees

Ernest Bloch resource from Montpelier, France maintained by Claude Torres.

See also: