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The Sacred Veil

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Note from Composer

The Sacred Veil is a 12-movement work and the most recent collaboration between Eric Whitacre and poet/lyricist Charles Anthony Silvestri telling a story of life, love and loss. Silvestri’s wife, Julie, died of ovarian cancer at age 36 in 2005, leaving two young children. Including texts from Silvestri, Whitacre and Julie herself, the intimate, compelling score tells a story of courtship, love, loss and the search for solace. Although inspired by this extraordinary and moving friendship, the piece does not mention Julie by name and shares a very human journey –one that so many of us can relate to.

  1. The Veil Opens
  2. In a Dark and Distant Year
  3. Home
  4. Magnetic Poetry
  5. Whenever There Is Birth
  6. I’m Afraid
  7. I Am Here
  8. Delicious Times
  9. One Last Breath
  10. Dear Friends
  11. You Rise, I Fall
  12. Child of Wonder

Forces: SATB Choir, Solo Cello, Piano

The Sacred Veil has been recorded with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Jeffrey Zeigler (cello) and Lisa Edwards (piano).

Listen Now

The Sacred Veil was commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Grant Gershon, Artistic Director, and co-commissioned by Monash Academy of Performing Arts – MLIVE and NTR ZaterdagMatinee for the Netherlands Radio Choir. The World Premiere was given at Walt Disney Concert Hall on February 16 – 17, 2019 conducted by the composer.

Pleases visit the Boosey & Hawkes website to view a perusal score.

In “The Sacred Veil,” Whitacre and the Master Chorale memorably celebrate the precarious beauty of life, offering the welcome consolation of art and a momentary stay against our collective fate.

LA Times

The Sacred Veil may be the single most important musical contribution in our time, perhaps in any time, to a non-religious, as well as non-political — perhaps we might say non-teleological understanding of death and loss. Its length and difficulty may preclude it from inclusion in your average funeral, but to experience it in performance with 40 singers, or perhaps in recorded form, may be transformative for those whose grief, recent or deep-seated, has never completely found closure.

The Text

Download the Digital Booklet


53 minutes

Year of Composition



Boosey & Hawkes


US: J.W. Pepper
UK: MusicRoom
World: Music Shop Europe

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