Special Features

David's Quilt: From Biblical Inspiration to Modern Musical Epic

Davids Quilt Music Concert - Jewish Music

What does it take to create a new work of Jewish Music on a biblical scale? In the case of the oratorio, David's Quilt, it takes an intriguing idea, a diverse team of talented composers, dozens of passionate lyricists, musicians and performers, and a few years of dedication to a common vision.

In 2015, in partnership with the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music at UCLA (now the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience, or "MAJE") and the Max Helfman Institute for New Jewish Music, an opportunity presented itself to develop a new work based on the biblical story of David.

Cantor Phil Baron (founder and director of the Max Helfman Institute) originated the project based on the story of David which, he observes, reads like a novel. Bringing the concept to Mark Kligman, then director of the Lowell Milken Fund (now UCLA MAJE), the project began to take shape.

David's Quilt took two years to complete, involving 15 composers of varied nationalities and backgrounds. The 11 cantors and composers from the Helfman Institute and four UCLA faculty and graduate students led by professor and composer David Lefkowitz were encouraged to write in their own styles.

The group's heterogeneity brought layers of diversity and perspective to the oratorio, much as a quilt relies on different pieces of fabric to form the complete pattern.

The Creation of David's Quilt: Documentary Video

The Concert

The story of David came to life in 18 pieces of music telling the various chapters of the story and debuted in a live concert on November 5, 2017.

"When I Open My Mouth" by Cantor Rebekah Mirsky
"Valley of Shadows" by Cantor Phil Baron
"Hallelujah" by Dr. David Lefkowitz
"Beauty and the Dance of Wonder" by Dr. Michelle Green Willner

David's Quilt Credits


Sergio Barer
Phil Baron
Paul Dorman
Richard Friedman
Aaron Fruchtman
Michael Gill
Chris Hardin
Michel Klein
Jason van Leeuwen
David S. Lefkowitz
Rebekah Mirsky
Bob Remstein
Edward Ryan
Michael Silversher
Nicky Sohn
Michelle Green Willner

Additional Credits

Dennis Gura, narration and dramaturg
Maxim Kuzin, conductor
James Bass, choir director
Chris Hardin, music director
UCLA Philharmonia
UCLA Chamber Singers

Composer Spotlight Videos

Composer Spotlight: Nicky Sohn
Composer Spotlight: Cantor Phil Baron
Composer Spotlight: Professor David Lefkowitz
Composer Spotlight: Sergio Barer
Composer Spotlight: Michelle Green Willner
Composer Spotlight: Michel Klein

Photo Gallery


Performance night photos from David’s Quilt.

View Photo Album »

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