Ernest Bloch was a celebrated composer, conductor, and educator. He was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1880 and educated in various European cities. Bloch came to the United States in 1916 and quickly established himself as a major figure in American music. His taught at the Mannes School of Music in New York City (1917-20), the Cleveland Institute of Music (Director, 1920-1924), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Director, 1925-30), and the University of California, Berkeley.
The collection consists of materials collected by the Magnes staff, including biographical information and obituaries for Bloch; a letter that Bloch sent to Rabbi Solomon Goldman, of Cleveland, Ohio, on 15 Dec. 1925, stating his preference to be "creating a Symphony" rather than teaching; materials containing information about Bloch's role in the history of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; a copy of a lecture that Bloch delivered at the Conservatory (16 Sept. 1933); bulletins of the Ernest Bloch Society (1970-1980; 1985-1991); an undated discography of Bloch; and essays about Bloch, including "Ernest Bloch" by Alex Cohen and "Ernest Bloch and Modern Music" by John Hasting. Also contains articles from Musical America magazine about Bloch's composition, "America"; a published vocal score for Bloch's Sacred Service, published by Broude Brothers of New York (1965); and a program from a performance of Bloch's Sacred Service, on 8 July 1956; the collection also features an autographed portrait of Bloch (1921) that includes a line from the score of his composition Schelomo (in oversize folder 1A); photographs of Bloch that demonstrate his interest in photography; and an article by Eric Johnson, that appeared in Aperture magazine, entitled "A Composer's Vision: Photographs by Ernest Bloch" (1972).