Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) was a composer, conductor, composition teacher, and music school administrator. He was Swiss-born and took advanced studies in Germany and France. He became an American citizen 1924, but lived in Switzerland again during 1930-39. He had briefly been a symphonic conductor in Switzerland and continued to appear as a guest conductor, mostly of his own works.
His music was by turns spiritual, nationalistic, or abstract. He is best known for his rhapsody for cello and orchestra entitled Schelomo, but he was also a versatile composer for other solo instruments, piano, string quartet, chorus, and orchestra.
Suite Modale was first written in 1956 with piano accompaniment and was then adapted to string orchestra. The piano version was first performed in 1957, the orchestral version in 1958. Bloch inscribed the work to flutist Elaine Shaffer.