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Bloch’s Prize Symphony “america” Has Premiere

December 23, 1928
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“America,” the symphony by Ernest Bloch, noted composer, which was awarded the prize offered by “Musical America” for the best symphonic work submitted in its contest, had its premiere Thursday night in Carnegie Hall, with Walter Damrosch conducting.

The symphony, described by Mr. Bloch as an “epic rhapsody” closes with an anthem to be sung by the audience. The symphony was presented to the American public on Friday simultaneously by the Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago symphony orchestres. Performances in other American cities will follow later.

Metropolitan musical critics hailed the symphony as an “epic of democracy,” expressing in music the past, present and hope for America’s future.

Ernest Bloch, who is the composer of the symphony “Israel,” acclaimed equally by critics, was born in Switzerland and came to the United States in 1916. He resides in San Francisco, where he is director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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