Robert Bloom Interview 9/21/1978
Bloom started college as a cellist at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, 1925.
A friend who attended Curtis mentioned that Curtis was looking for oboists.
Despite not being an advanced oboist, Bloom was accepted by Tabuteau to study at Curtis in 1928.
After 3 years at Curtis, Stokowski invited Bloom to play in the Philadelphia Orchestra initially as assistant first oboe and then for six years as the English horn player.
Jose Iturbi asked Bloom to play first oboe in the Rochester Philharmonic in 1936.
In 1937, Bloom became first oboe in the newly formed NBC Symphony with Toscanini.
In those days not so many oboists around. Much more competition today. But, Bloom added: despite the numbers of oboists now, there still are only a “select few.”
Influence of Tabuteau was great.
Hearing visiting orchestras in Pittsburgh, Bloom developed a sense of the type of oboe playing he wanted to emulate.
Tabuteau was a meticulous and intellectual musician. Tabuteau didn’t just play music he thought about it.
Tabuteau was greatly admired and a hero to wind players. He showed you could be a wind player and be greatly admired as a musician.
It was a great ambiance for a young musician.
Tabuteau did not use the number system with Bloom.
Wind players no longer just an organ stop in the orchestra.
Tabuteau was a strong, dynamic person. So, there was a danger of creating replicas of himself.
Stokowski had a great influence on Tabuteau and Bloom. To his credit, Tabuteau had great flexibility as an oboist.