Sara Sitzer performing the Suite on June 26, 2011

Suite for Cello

(2011, 12′)

Commissioned by Sarah Sitzer and the Gesher Music Festival of Emerging Artists




Suite for Cello was commissioned by Sara Sitzer for the inaugural Gesher Music Festival of Emerging Artists, which featured music that connects classical chamber music and the Jewish perspective. As my contribution to the festival’s program, this suite is both a conversation with my favorite solo cello repertoire (including music by Bach, Britten and Ligeti) as well as a conversation with the Jewish tradition itself.

Elijah and the Rabbi on the World To Come
Shall the horn sound and the people not tremble

The suite contains four movements. The Nocturne and Serenade – two “night-songs” – open and close the work, recalling the cycles of sunrise and sunset, natural events that both begin and end a day of ritual and worship. The second movement retells a story where Elijah and Rabbi Baroka of Hoza’a discuss various people destined for the World To Come, where the cello portrays the many different characters in the scene. The third movement is a set of variations on the shofar’s sound, and is based on the natural harmonic series of the cello.


June 29 and July 2, 2011, Marvin and Harlene Wool Studio Theater at the Jewish Community Center, St. Louis, Missouri.

December 13, 2017, Isodoc Dance Group performed Whiff (Jeffrey Docimo, choreographer) accompanied by the Suite for Cello.