Ernest Bloch (1880–1959)
Jubilee International Conference and Festival
Joint Presidents: Lady Solti and Leopold de Rothschild CBE
The scope of the celebrations:
Presented by Jewish Music Institute, SOAS University of London
Ernest Bloch: the man and his music for the 21st Century
International Bloch Jubilee Festival 2009
Bloch Jubilee International Conference
Supported by the Nordev Trust
Key Bloch scholars will present papers on many aspects of the man and his music. These presentations will form part of a celebratory publication for the anniversary year 2009. There will be a chamber music recital on the first evening, a banquet on the second, and an entertainment on the third evening.
The conference will include punting on the River Cam and a visit to the famous archive of the Cairo Geniza, housed at Cambridge University Library.
Call for Papers and attending the conference:
If you would like to attend this conference or offer a paper
or request one by contacting:
Please tell us how you first heard about the Bloch Conference register by downloading the registration form from here.
If you would like to submit a paper for consideration please
send an abstract of up to 250 words to reach us by 1 February 2007 to
both Alexander Knapp ak42[at]soas.ac.uk and
Audrey Ellison jaellison[at]btinternet.com or
contact the conference administrator:
Abstracts may be sent by hard copy or by email as attachments (in Word documents or in Rich Text Format) but please back up the attachment with a plain-text version in the main e-mail. They should be accompanied by information about the author under the following headings:
Acceptance of a proposal will be at the discretion of the Conference Academic Board, headed by Dr Alexander Knapp. The Board will make final decisions on abstracts by 28 February 2007, and contributors will be informed very soon thereafter.
It is envisaged that selected papers will be published in a special commemorative book in time for the 50th anniversary of Bloch's death in 2009. Please circulate to anyone you know who may be interested.
Born 24 July 1880 Geneva Switzerland
Ernest Bloch, born in Geneva in 1880, was so admired in his heyday that many considered him the fourth ‘B’ after Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. He was one of the most original composers of the 20th century whose music, whilst intellectually challenging, was accessible to a wide audience. His works were regularly performed from the 1920s to the 1950s, particularly in the USA, UK and Italy.
Now, as we approach the 50th Anniversary of his death in Portland, Oregon in 1959, it is time to rejoice in the wide range of his oeuvre and hear again the well and lesser-known orchestral, choral, chamber, instrumental, and vocal works. There will also be an exploration of his hitherto unpublished music.
Bloch has often referred to as a ‘Jewish composer’ because of the substantial number of his works that carry Jewish titles. Yet his repertoire incorporates a variety of influences such as Renaissance, neo-Classical, neo-Romantic, Swiss, Native American, Chinese, and Gregorian chant. Although he never founded a ‘school’ of composition, many of the most prominent American composers of the 20th century were his students.
He visited Britain in the 1930s, where concerts of his chamber music were presented. In 1949 his Concerto Symphonique for piano and orchestra was premiered at the Edinburgh Festival; he also conducted a major concert at the Royal Albert Hall, including Schelomo with cellist Zara Nelsova and The Sacred Service with baritone Aron Rothmüller and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. An Ernest Bloch Society was founded in London in 1937 with Albert Einstein, Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Arthur Bliss, Sir Arnold Bax, and Sir John Barbirolli, among others, as honorary officers.
Amongst his other attributes, Bloch was an accomplished photographer, an avid collector of mushrooms, a lover and polisher of agates, and a prolific letter writer.
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