A Spanish Baroque broadcast THIS SATURDAY, interviews and recipes!

Spanish Baroque music, Chris Stark interview and recipes from Alex’s kitchen!

Photo by Alex Shiozaki: Doughnut Quartet with Small Hand

Dear friends,

Greetings from all of our living rooms to yours! Has it been two months already? I have lost track of time to such a degree that I am occasionally accidentally showing up late or missing Zoom meetings. My new diary is a piece of scrap paper, with days of the week on it and a list of Zoom appointments. One of the Zoom highlights of the season was the virtual first birthday party for Alex’s son, Wesley! You can see his little hand reaching for the doughnuts in Alex’s photo, above. (And if you want to make those doughnuts, there is a link to that recipe…and something healthier…below!) Those of us “Zooming” into the birthday party witnessed Wesley eating his first piece of cake, containing his first granulated white sugar. And now…

Let’s hear from Alex himself about a very special Momenta concert broadcast THIS SATURDAY, May 16 at 7:30pm EST, new Momenta online features and some of his exciting quarantine recipes, below…


Alex writes:

We’re on the air again! This Saturday, you can watch (or re-watch) our December concert with Meridionalis, Americas Society’s choral project that focuses on early and contemporary music from the Americas. I’m doubly excited to tune in for this stream as I actually missed the concert; subbing for me is mainly-violinist-but-for-this-concert-a-violist Keiko Tokunaga. It’s always an adventure to find and catch the livestream, but hopefully it will be as simple as being here on Saturday, May 16 at 7:30pm. Don’t fret if it starts a few minutes late, and also don’t fret if you miss it entirely (although we know you don’t have plans for that night!) because it appears that these concerts are also available on the same page after the event.

That concert featured Spanish Baroque music from the manuscript collection of the Hispanic Society with Sebastian Zubieta conducting his chorus of some of the best early music singers in the city, amazing interludes by theorbist/period guitarist Adam Cockerham, and the Momenta Quartet at the Academy of Arts and Letters. There are motets and a Palestrina Mass, guitar music, and realizations of musical “enigmas” included in Pietro Cerone’s “El melopeo y maestro”—a classic theory book published in 1613, performed by Momenta Quartet. Zubieta, the conductor of Meridionalis, illustrates the program and the music while answering audience questions during the concert. You can see a slide show in the virtual “lobby” starting at 7:10.

We are also excited to launch the first in a series of Composers at Home, a selection of interviews with some of our favorite colleagues. Chris Stark holds a special place in my memory as part of my “hazing” in 2016, where I had to learn an inordinate amount of repertoire as I jumped on board the Momenta train mid-season. A memorable piece from those first few months was his Winter Music, and less than a year ago we recorded it as part of the three movement Seasonal Music, available now on Bridge Records. Catch our interview with him here!

As you can see from the picture above, I have sadly been contributing to the pandemic flour shortage. Pictured is a quartet of Lemony Glazed Cake Doughnuts from Bon Appétit, which I made for the first time this week. I have also been baking a weekly loaf of No-Knead Bread, courtesy of Serious Eats. But the recipe I’d like to share has no relation to baking. It’s a quick, easy, and classic Japanese dish that begs for substitutions, making it the perfect pandemic recipe!

This dish consists of the following:
1. Rice
2. Eggs, scrambled (I use 4, but this is a very approximate number)
3. GreensFor me, this is usually green beans, blanched and thinly sliced diagonally. However, I have also done this with salted and shredded cabbage, stir-fried spinach, and green peas. Anything green!
4. Protein
I usually use 1 lb. of ground beef, cooked in a skillet with 3 T each of soy sauce, mirin (like sake, but sweeter), and sugar. If you don’t have these Japanese ingredients, however, literally any kind of seasoned meat would work.

Put the three components on top of the rice, and that’s it! The most important thing is that there are three different colors represented. So simple, so tasty!

– Alex


I hope you will all enjoy this new online content, and hope to see you all soon – maybe at the Momenta Festival in October, if that remains a possibility!

All the best,