French musician; son of a rabbi at Wissembourg, Alsace; born in that city in 1873. At the age of seven Bloch began to compose music, writing a waltz for the piano, for four hands, which pleased a publisher so much that he printed it. In order to procure for their gifted son the best musical advantages, the parents removed to Paris and entered him at the Conservatory.
The young musician made rapid progress. In 1884 he received the first prize for solfeggio; in 1889, the first prize for piano; in 1890, the first prize for harmony; finally, in 1893, by a unanimous vote, the first prize of Rome. He was trained by Massenet and André Gedalge.
Bloch's work is full of charm, originality, and distinction. Besides the cantata that obtained for him the "prix de Rome," his best works are: "Poëme Nomade," for chorus and orchestra, words by J. Richepin; and several pleasing songs and pieces for the piano, for two and for four hands. Bloch is not merely a musician, being interested also in astronomy and magnetism, which he studies with his friend Camille Flammarion.