A narrative modern ballet in 11 movements for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Guitar, and Piano

Every composer has a different process. I wanted to invite you into mine for the creation of the “Book of Esther.”

Phase One: Creation

Esther's Solo & Finale


I compose by improvisation, writing on the piano until I have enough music I love (and remember) to record. I only record after I’ve “kept in my mind” the best parts of each improv. The recordings then serve as the basis to compose.

Improv Solo 1 + 2

The solo is the 4th section in Esther. It depicts the struggle of Queen Esther to reveal she’s a Jew and the plot of the evil Haman to kill all the Jews.


After the improv is settled, I write down the work for piano by hand. I then re-notate into Finale, adding all of the instruments

Finale Version Solo

This version features Clarinet, Esther’s “voice,” and creates a space for her to work through her emotional struggle. The second half of the work was entirely new from the notation, as I realized Esther not only had to decide to step forward, she had to take those steps over and over again (thus the repeating phrase).