Robert Bloom

Robert Bloom (May 3, 1908  February 13, 1994) was an oboist with an orchestral and solo career, a composer and arranger contributing to the oboe repertory, and a teacher of several successful oboists.[1] Bloom is considered seminal in the development of an American school of oboe playing.[2]

Robert Bloom
Born(1908-05-03)May 3, 1908
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
DiedFebruary 13, 1994(1994-02-13) (aged 85)
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio
Occupation(s)Oboist, composer, arranger, teacher

At the Curtis Institute of Music Bloom was a pupil of Marcel Tabuteau for three years.[2] In the 1930s he played English horn in the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski and first oboe in the Rochester Philharmonic under José Iturbi.[2] He was the principal oboe in Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1943.[3] Bloom plays on recordings by the Columbia Symphony and the RCA Symphony.[2]

In 1946 Bloom was one of the founding members of the Bach Aria Group, with which he played until 1980.[1][2] Recordings by the Bach Aria Group featuring Bloom started appearing from the late 1940s.[4] Bloom transcribed and elaborated 18th-century masterworks for the oboe.[5] His own compositions include a Sonatina for oboe and piano.[1]

Bloom was a professor at Yale and Juilliard.[1] His pupils include William Bennett,[6] Bill Douglas,[7] Tim Hurtz,[8] Richard Killmer,[9] Bert Lucarelli,[10] Ray Still,[10][11] Allan Vogel,[10] Stephen Taylor, and Richard Woodhams,[2] In the spring of 1988, friends, colleagues, and former pupils gathered in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York for an 80th-birthday tribute.[2]

A few years after Bloom's death in 1994,[12] his widow, Sara Lambert Bloom, published The Robert Bloom Collection, scores and parts to his 21 editions of 18th-century masterworks, 10 transcriptions, and 10 compositions.[13] The Art of Robert Bloom, a 7-CD set of live performances of concertos, chamber music, and Bach arias performed by Bloom over his 60-year career was released in 2001 on Boston Records label.[14]

Bloom's daughter, Kath Bloom is a singer-songwriter and music therapist based in Litchfield, CT.[15]


  1. "Robert Bloom Is Dead; Oboist and Teacher, 85". The New York Times. February 16, 1994. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  2. Webster, Daniel. "Taking Note Of A Remarkable Oboist." in The Philadelphia Inquirer. May 14, 1988. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  3. Sachs, Harvey. "Robert Bloom", p. 121 ff. in Arturo Toscanini: From 1915 to 1946. E.D.T., 1987 ISBN 9788870630565
  4. Bach Aria Group: Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works at Bach Cantatas Website.
  5. Ryon, Janna Leigh. Abstract of The Legacy of Oboist and Master Teacher, Robert Bloom. University of Maryland, 2014.
  6. "In Tribute to William Bennett" at San Francisco Symphony website. 2013.
  7. "Concert program announced", p. 2-B in Wilmington Star-News. October 23, 1977.
  8. "Tim Hurtz, oboe" at Penn State University website. 2015.
  9. "Richard Killmer, oboe" at Eastman School of Music website. 2019.
  10. Burgess, Geoffrey. "Bloom, Robert" in Grove Music Online, edited by Deane Root. Oxford Music Online (Oxford University Press, updated 30 August 2004), accessed September 5, 2015.
  11. "Remembering Ray Still" at Chicago Symphony Orchestra website
  12. Webster, Daniel. "Robert Bloom; Premier Oboist Played With Phila. Orchestra." in The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 1994. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  13. Stolper, Daniel. "The Robert Bloom Collection: Solo Works and Chamber Music for Oboe" in Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, Volume 58, Number 1, September 2001. pp. 186-191.
  14. "The Art of Robert Bloom ~ A series of 7 CDs" at
  15. Danton, Eric R. "Folk artist Bloom back after domestic interlude".

Further reading

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