Gluck, Alma

views updated Jun 11 2018


GLUCK, ALMA (born Reba Fiersohn ; 1884–1938), U.S. soprano. Born in Bucharest, Romania, she was taken to New York as a child. When she left school, she worked as a secretary, and it was not until her marriage to Bernard Gluck, in 1906, that she began taking singing lessons. In 1909 she obtained an engagement at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, where she remained for four years. Subsequently, after studying in Berlin with Marcella Sembrich, she concentrated on concert work. Her great success was enhanced by her recordings. In 1914, having divorced her first husband, she married the violinist Efrem Zimbalist. Her home in New York became the meeting place of distinguished musicians and she was a principal figure in the founding of the American Guild of Musical Artists. Her daughter by her first marriage became the novelist Marcia *Davenport.


M. Davenport, Too Strong for Fantasy (1967), index; G. Saleski, Famous Musicians of Jewish Origin (1949), 587–9; Baker, Biog Dict.

Gluck, Alma

views updated May 14 2018

Gluck, Alma [ Fiersohn, Reba] (b Bucharest, 1884; d NY, 1938). Amer. soprano of Romanian birth. Opera début with Met company in 1909 (Sophie in Werther). Member of Met company 1909–12. From 1913 appeared mainly as concert singer. Noted for purity of vocal tone. Her second husband was the violinist Efrem Zimbalist (married 1914). Daughter by first husband was Marcia Davenport (Abigail Gluck), the novelist and writer on music.