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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
DiedFebruary 13, 1994(1994-02-13) (aged 85)
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] Bert Lucarelli,[9] Ray Still,[9][10] Allan Vogel,[9] 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,[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

Bloom's daughter, Kath Bloom is a singer-songwriter and music therapist based in Litchfield, CT.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d "Robert Bloom Is Dead; Oboist and Teacher, 85". The New York Times. February 16, 1994. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g 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. ^ a b c 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.
  10. ^ "Remembering Ray Still" at Chicago Symphony Orchestra website
  11. ^ Webster, Daniel. "Robert Bloom; Premier Oboist Played With Phila. Orchestra." in The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 1994. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "The Art of Robert Bloom ~ A series of 7 CDs" at
  14. ^ Danton, Eric R. "Folk artist Bloom back after domestic interlude".

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