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Joseph Bloch Collection

 Collection 0023-IPAM
Joseph Bloch (1917-2009) was a pianist, music teacher, and music writer. He gave many solo recitals and performances with orchestras such as the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, as well as various tours throughout the world in places such as China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea. Bloch also taught music at the University of Denver and at the Juilliard School, served as a faculty member at various piano festivals, and wrote articles about composers and music pieces in various music magazines. The collection contains 15.50 linear feet of programs, reviews, recordings, writings, notes, correspondence, awards, photographs, posters, articles, clippings, flyers, and brochures, related to Bloch's career, the ensembles he was involved in, and his relationships with his close colleagues, including Benjamin Lees, William Mayer, and Robert Moevs.

Dates

  • 1925-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1949-1988

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Extent

15.50 Linear Feet

Biography

Summary: Joseph Bloch (1917-2009) was born on November 6, 1917 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bloch was in the Army Air Forces (1941-1946) and discharged as captain. He was appointed head of the piano department at the University of Denver (1946) and two years later, joined the faculty at Juilliard, where he taught piano literature classes. Bloch made his debut at Town Hall in New York City (1950) and performed with numerous orchestras throughout the world. Bloch has also made recordings for Composers Recordings, Inc. Bloch died at his home in Larchmond, NY on March 4, 2009.

Full History: Joseph Bloch (1917-2009) was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 6, 1917. He was best described by the New York Post as a musician who "has that rare trio: a head, a heart, and skill." Through high school, he studied with Bomar Cramer and then with Rudolph Ganz at the Chicago Musical College. After earning his Bachelor of Music degree, he enrolled at Harvard University for his master's degree in musicology. While in graduate school, Bloch commuted to New York in order to study with Olga Samaroff.

During World War II, Bloch was stationed at Lawry Field in Denver, Colorado, where he gave informal recitals and also appeared as a soloist with the Civic Symphony. He was in the Army Air Forces from 1941-1946 and discharged as captain.

In 1946, he was appointed head of the piano department at the University of Denver and two years later, joined the faculty at Juilliard. He taught piano literature classes there and had a significant influence on accomplished pianists such as Garrick Ohlsson, Van Cliburn, Misha Dichter and John Browning.

In 1950, Bloch made his debut at Town Hall in New York City and subsequently performed with numerous orchestras in the United States, Europe, and East Asia. He travelled throughout the world, giving lecture-recitals and concerts in countries such as France, Japan, Belgium, Switzerland, and China. His recital programs included works by Scriabin, Honegger, Alkan, and his lifelong friend, Benjamin Lees. He made recordings for Composers Recordings, Inc. of piano music by Robert Moevs, Jaoques de Menasce, and Ruth Crawford Seeger. He also wrote a monograph on Charles-Valentin Alkan.

When he was not concertizing, his time was spent with his wife Dana and their three children, Leslie, John, and Andrew Lawrence. In addition, he developed a hobby for cooking, which provided a break from his busy lifestyle. He also became a connoisseur of desserts. Bloch died at his house in Larchmond, New York on March 4, 2009.

Arrangement

This collection is organized as eleven series.
  1. Series 1: Performance Files
  2. Series 2: Recordings by Joseph Bloch
  3. Series 3: Writings by Joseph Bloch
  4. Series 4: Correspondence
  5. Series 5: Awards
  6. Series 6: Photographs
  7. Series 7: Posters
  8. Series 8: Scrapbooks
  9. Series 9: Subject Files
  10. Series 10: Recordings belonging to Joseph Bloch
  11. Series 11: Miscellaneous

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of Joseph Bloch, received in 1990. Additional materials were received from Joseph Bloch on September 5th, 1997.

Related Material

Additional red photo album outside of the boxes.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Processing Information

An item-level inventory of scores and recordings and a subject listing of writings by Joseph Bloch are available upon request.
Title
Joseph Bloch Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Processor unknown.
Date
1993-08-20
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Sponsor
Gift of Joseph Bloch, received in 1990. Additional materials were received from Joseph Bloch on September 5th, 1997.

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States