The Legacy of Oboist and Master Teacher, Robert Bloom
Ryon, Janna Leigh
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Robert Bloom (1908-1994) was legendary in the education and performance world. Often hailed as one of the last performers of the Golden Era of classical music and a favorite of conductors ranging from Stokowski to Stravinsky to Shaw, Bloom was an orchestral oboist and English hornist, oboe soloist, chamber musician, teacher (Eastman, Yale, Hartt, Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard and Philadelphia's University of the Arts), composer, conductor, editor of masterworks of the 18th century, and, as a founding member of the Bach Aria group, a seminal influence in the post-WWII revival of Baroque music in America. In The Robert Bloom Collection and the Art of Robert Bloom CD and video archives, we see what his musical ideals were in 1)18th-century performance practices, 2) writing new music for the instrument and commissioning new works, and 3) and transcribing music for the oboe and English horn. As an oboist, I believe it is important that Bloom's teachings, historical performance practices and ideas for expanding repertoire are propagated. Therefore, the works chosen for this dissertation illustrated this legacy. My recitals included 1) some of Bloom's published 18th-century baroque elaborations (his term for ornamentation), as well Baroque works which I have elaborated, 2) works written by him and by other oboists/composers (Labate, Roseman) as well as a flute/oboe duo that I commissioned by Dr. Marcus Maroney and 3) transcriptions by both Bloom and myself (Bach, Donizetti, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Handel, Schumann and Telemann). In these three dissertation recitals, I hope to have illustrated some of Robert Bloom's lasting contributions and impact on the oboe world, and to have demonstrated the potential for carrying forward this legacy by studying his teaching and emulating his example.