Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities
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Peter Bloom took his B.A. at Swarthmore College, studied the oboe under John de Lancie at the Curtis Institute of Music, and took his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. He came to Smith College in 1970, moved through the ranks, and in 2000 was named to the chair of Professor of Humanities endowed by Grace Jarcho Ross, class of 1933. His teaching over the years has concentrated primarily on the music of the 18th and 19th centuries, with particular attention to Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, and music in France from the Great Revolution to the First World War.
Bloom has published on Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, and Claude Debussy, but he is best known for his books, editions, and essays on the life and work of Hector Berlioz. He is author of The Life of Berlioz (Cambridge University Press) and editor of five collections of essays on Berlioz and his era, of which the most recent is Berlioz: Scenes from the Life and Work (University of Rochester Press). He is editor of two volumes of the New Berlioz Edition (Bärenreiter), co-editor of the Dictionnaire Berlioz (Fayard), and member of the editorial board of the Critique musicale d'Hector Berlioz (Buchet/Chastel) and of the Revue de musicologie (Société française de musicologie).
Bloom is currently at work on a new supplementary volume of the Correspondance générale d'Hector Berlioz (Flammarion), and a new critical edition of the Mémoires d'Hector Berlioz. His edition of the String Quartet of Debussy is to appear in 2014 in the Œuvres Complètes de Claude Debussy (Durand).