The International Ernest Bloch Society

The International Ernest Bloch Society invites you to become a member. Go to www.ErnestBlochSociety.org to learn more about membership.  They have recently published Issue 8, Autumn 2013 IEBS NEWSLETTER.


Macbeth Opens!
Chicago Opera Theater is now performing Macbeth at the Harris Theater in downtown Chicago from September 13-21, 2014. Click on this youtube link and step inside the rehearsal room and hear from our General director Andreas Mitisek and our Lord and Lady Macbeth.  Be there to witness the spectacular of this multimedia prodution!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBVfW6GxsaM

Andreas Mitisek is also the Artistic and General Director of Long Beach Opera -- which produced Macbeth in 2013.  "Macbeth" was the only opera by the Swiss-born American composer Ernest Bloch (1880-1959). Read a review of this production. This 1906 opera based on Shakespeare's play is written in a late Romantic style, showing the influences of Wagner and Debussy. It has the reputation of being unjustly neglected.

Here is a review of the production's opening weekend:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/vonrhein/ct-cot-macbeth-review-20140915-column.html

To learn more about Bloch's Macbeth and its production history, click the "COMPOSITIONS" tab to the left and go to 1909.


Coming Soon:

Ernest Bloch Studies Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press will be publishing Ernest Bloch Studies in late 2014. The book will be co-edited by Alexander Knapp and Norman Solomon. It will include contributions by many Bloch scholars and specialists.  Once the book is available, it will be advertised on the Cambridge University Press website/online catalogue (www.cambridge.org).


 Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and . . .

Just over seventyone years ago a man was driving up the Oregon coast, having just completed a series of lectures at UC Berkeley. He was on his way back to his son's home in Oswego.  He found himself stopping in Agate Beach along the beautiful Oregon coast. During his visit he discovered a property which intrigued him.  

This was a man who several years before, in 1937, had a society formed in his honor.  The members of this society included such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Sir Thomas Beecham, Serge Koussevitzky, Havelock Ellis, Romain Rolland, Sir Donald Francis Tovey, and Bruno Walter. This would become the most permanent homesite this nomadic composer would ever have. He had spent the previous 9 years living off of a trust established by patrons of the arts in San Francisco. He had left his post as administrator and teacher of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1925-1930), where he had landed after five years heading the Cleveland Institute of Music (1920 – 1925). Bloch achieved American citizenship in 1924. He returned to Europe in 1930 to compose full time, returning to the U.S. finally in 1939 when the Hitlerian menace began to threaten all of Europe. 

This man who, during his lifetime, was considered the fourth B after Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, would commence the third phase of his musical life in Agate Beach. During his illustrious career, which took him from his birthplace of Geneva, Switzerland to the place of his final resting in Agate Beach, this man was celebrated throughout the western world for his unique musical compositions.  

It has been 70 years since that summer of 1941 when Ernest Bloch first arrived on these shores.  He was at the height of his career.  All metrics which can be mustered give testimony to the impact this composer has had on his profession.  Perhaps the number of recordings give the scope: about 850 CDs and 400 LPs.  Perhaps the number of major awards.  Perhaps when you search the name Ernest Bloch online to discover nearly 600,000 hits.  

During the past several decades numerous individuals have considered how the house where Bloch lived could become a national historic site.  The house is currently owned by a private party, who would have to be approached with a serious offer of purchase.  In 2009 the house was finally put on the National Register of Historic Places.  This was a recommendation from the Oregon Historic Preservation Commission.  At the time, it was even suggested that the house be nominated to be a National Historic Landmark. 

We who live in Newport now have the opportunity to help realize this dream.  Not a "George Washington Slept Here" story, rather a considerable 18 years of major compositions.  During this time, 1941 to 1959, Bloch, though physically removed from the great musical centers of the world, would not be forgotten. That Bloch was so widely honored in his own lifetime attests to the fact that his achievements did not go unnoticed by many of his contemporaries.  Today there are societies honoring the composer in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Israel, and major efforts to preserve his legacy in many other countries, including France, China and Japan.

Anyone who has ever stepped foot in the house can attest to the spiritual feeling immediately evident when entering the space where some of the world's greatest musicians came to pay their respects, including Yehudi Menuhin.

Anyone who reads this account and feels so moved to volunteer their interest in helping the community create a truly important national historic site is invited to contact Frank Geltner on the Contact Us link to this website.


 "Rue Ernest Bloch"

 Contrasting street signs can be found in the two towns marking the beginning and ending of the life of Ernest Bloch: 1880 to 1959.  Here is the sign in Geneva, Switzerland.  The photo for Agate Beach (Newport), Oregon, thanks to the Newport City Council, is posted at the Photo Resources tab.  That sign now marks a point on Highway 101 in Newport (Agate Beach), Oregon near the home where Ernest Bloch lived from 1941 until his death in 1959. 


Special Announcement: The Ernest Bloch I Knew

"The Ernest Bloch I Knew: The Agate Beach Years" by Helen Johnston Kintner

Helen Johnston was "a private student and close friend of Ernest Bloch" for the last thirteen years of his life. "My goal in putting this story together is simply to offer some glimpses into the inner dynamics of those final years of Ernest and Marguerite Blochs' lives in Agate Beach, Oregon, from an insider's perspective."

It was published on August 4, 2009 (Heirloom Edition of 100 copies) by the author in Oregon. Anyone interested in securing a copy should "contact us" by link to the left.


A worldwide celebration (International Jubilee Festival 2009) of Ernest Bloch’s works commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death was initiated by the Jewish Music Institute in 2007 at Cambridge University. Look for Ernest Bloch Studies from Cambridge University Press in 2014.

Musical organizations large and small, including opera companies, orchestras, choirs, ensembles, soloists and venues worldwide were invited to include Bloch’s music in their programs for 2009-2010  – and beyond.  If you are programming Bloch and would like your event listed on this website's "Calendar Watch," please contact festival@ernestbloch.org . To begin the 50th year the International Ernest Bloch Society was launched on July 8, 2008 in London.

Keep your eyes on the calendar link to the left for day to day events scheduled far and wide honoring Ernest Bloch.

This International Jubilee Festival of performances and workshops was coordinated by the Jewish Music Institute SOAS University of London, Joint Presidents Lady Solti and Leopold de Rothschild CBE, by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, and by the Ernest Bloch Legacy Foundation, Agate Beach, Oregon, Chairman Ernest Bloch II.

Please contact festival@ernestbloch.org for information on having events posted to the calendar, or gaining authorization to post events from your country of origin.

International Committee:
Ernest Bloch II, Dr Frank J.M. Geltner (USA); Alain Hirsch. Oliver Margulies (Switzerland); Professor Dalia Atlas, Professor Jehoash Hirshberg (Israel); Ms Li Jin (China); Mr Akinori Itoh (Japan). Norman Solomon, Alexander Knapp, J Audrey Ellison (UK)
 


Producing events featuring Ernest Bloch and his music?

(Let us know details of upcoming events and we will add to "calendar watch" in vertical navigation bar to left - or contact us to request adding an item to the "calendar watch.")


Site last updated on September 8, 2013. 


Visit the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts "Ernest Bloch Project" link.  

 Ernest Bloch Legacy logo print created by Lucienne Bloch Dimitroff from original photograph by Walt Dyke.


The Ernest Bloch Foundation
2309 SW First Avenue, 1744, Portland, Oregon 97201
 
www.ernestbloch.org · Email Us

All material ©2007-2012 by Ernest Bloch Foundation and the Ernest Bloch Family. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.