About Joe

Read Joe’s obituary here.

To say that Joe grew up in a musical household is an understatement.  His father, Julius Bloom, was director of Carnegie Hall for nearly two decades, exposing Joe to the most legendary musicians of the last century. Because of his background, he embodied a unique understanding of the deepest traditions of Western Classical Music.

After a big career in music on the East Coast and around the world, Joe decided to focus on teaching and moved from Brooklyn to Mill Valley in 1998. Joe performed on the world’s greatest stages as a soloist and in collaboration with legendary performers including Frederica von Stade, Marilyn Horne, and Janet Baker.  He taught at top colleges and mentored students who went on to Julliard, Oberlin, Cambridge, and many more.

His background, his own pianistic gifts, and a lifetime of teaching, performing, and accumulating tens of thousands of pages of notes on piano technique and musicality made Joe a true virtuoso as a teacher and pianist.

Joe Bloom and Julius Bloom
Joe as a child with father, Julius Bloom, in Brooklyn

“A first rate pianist” (The New York Times)

“A truly cultured and sensitive artist” (Henryk Szeryng, violinist)

“One of the most sensitive, accomplished and musical artists I’ve ever worked with” (Erick Friedman, violinist)

“A musician and pianist of extraordinary gifts” (Kenneth Schermerhorn, conductor)

“Bloom attacked the concerto with apparent relish.  The piece seemed no less formal, but comparatively less austere, than it would in the hands of a more sedate interpreter.” (Boston)

“We were simply astounded by what we heard coming from the piano. It was music on another dimension coming from another dimension, as Mozart’s music did. The overarching impression was the liquidity of the sound produced.”  (Bay Area concert review).

As a teacher:

“His breadth and depth of music and performance skills is phenomenal.  His patient persistence brings out the best in us – gives us confidence where there may be too little, and stretches our limits.  He never settles for less when he knows he can get more, doing it gently and with kindness.”   (Dr. Margaret Harrington)

“His ability to get results with students at all levels is truly amazing; he is universally loved” (Norman Derby, Dean Bennington College)

“Each lesson with Joe is wholly unique – his teaching combines an amazing  capacity for empathy with an irresistible urge for innovation. The depth of his teaching is tremendous. I often find that I have grown in unexpected ways from a past lesson or find myself referring to old advice which has grown in meaning and become applicable to new musical challenges.  Joe has inspired me to trust myself and to teach myself, nudging me past the hurdle of a student’s mentality. He has helped me to find myself as a musician and it is largely thanks to him that I now have the confidence to pursue a career as a professional pianist.”  (Allegra Chapman, Bay Area Pianist)

“Joe has given me so much to reach for by expanding my musical capacities to an extent I never thought possible.  With each lesson, I am “energized,” growing more confident in my abilities as a musician and as a person.”  (Anne Rainwater, Bay Area Pianist)

“Joe has taught music theory and piano to my daughter since she was eight-years old.  With great skill, infinite patience, and generous emotional support, Joe has developed the skills of a reticent beginner into that of a blossoming Musician.” (Parent)

“Joe Bloom’s quality teaching has been a tremendous gift in my daughter’s life.  His kindness and care for his students, mastery of music, and vast knowledge of the history, culture, and science of music combine to make his classes not just piano lessons, but lessons in life.  I recommend Joe as a teacher without hesitation and with great enthusiasm.” (Parent)

As a Chamber Coach:

“Joe gets dramatic results from students of any technical level, due to his unique and wonderfully efficient methods. He knows just what to say to connect with any student.  He has broad understanding of how great music is put together coupled with an ability to communicate imaginatively.  He has truly breathed new life into our chamber music program.  As an accompanist he is inspired and as a teacher he is inspiring.”  (Owen Dalby, Concertmaster, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra)

“Joe Bloom is an incredible musician, and has a lot to offer to anyone interested in music.  I have learned and grown as a musician largely because of my experience with him, and I strongly feel he has made a huge impact on my life.  He is one of a kind, and has an unstoppable  passion for music, and anyone who works with him takes a piece of that home with them.” (Samantha LaValley, five time winner of Marin Music Chest Competition)

Joe Bloom as Artist Representative at Bosendorfer Pianos
Joe (right) as Artist Representative at Bösendorfer Pianos