Momenta Festival IV

Announcing Momenta Festival IV

October 13, 15, 17, and 19 in NYC

Four concerts each curated by a different quartet member

Free admission and custom beers by Sam Burlingame of BrewHeister

“[the Momenta Festival] has become one of the most amazingly eclectic, never mind herculean feats attempted by any chamber ensemble in this city….”
– New York Music Daily


October 13-19: Momenta Quartet presents the 4th edition of the Momenta Festival, four diverse chamber music programs each curated by a different member of the quartet. With programs that blend the old and new, the “intriguing programming” (The New York Times) and “striking originality” (I Care If You Listen) of the Momenta Festival have been acclaimed by critics and fans alike.

The 2018 festival opens at The Tenri Cultural Institute on October 13 with the program Canciones, featuring guest vocalist Lucy Shelton and curated by violinist Alex Shiozaki. The festival continues October 15 with the program Ocean Breakup curated by violist Stephanie Griffin, and October 17 with the program Points of Departure curated by violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron, both at the Americas Society. Back at the Tenri Cultural Institute, on October 19 the festival concludes with the program The Power of Four curated by cellist Michael Haas. Note: programs subject to change.

“We founded this festival four years ago as an artistic outlet for each of our individual musical interests,” says Momenta violist Stephanie Griffin. “Four years later and I’m always surprised to discover new pieces and composers that my Momenta colleagues introduce me to through this festival.”

Contributing to the festive atmosphere, admission to all concerts is free and includes free custom beers by Sam Burlingame of BrewHeister. Complete details below.


Canciones – curated by Alex Shiozaki
Saturday, October 13 at 7:00 pm
The Tenri Cultural Institute
43a W. 13th St., NYC

Momenta Festival IV opens with “Canciones”, a celebration of the voice and the people. Legendary soprano Lucy Shelton joins Momenta for works by Cristobal Halffter and Heitor Villa-Lobos, whose music and texts share a folk ideal. Closing the program is Beethoven’s Op. 130 String Quartet with its beautiful Cavatina, one of the most beautiful songs in the quartet literature.

Anna Clyne: Rest These Hands, for solo violin
Cristobal Halffter: Canciones de al-Andalus for mezzo-soprano and string quartet
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Suite for voice and violin
Beethoven: String Quartet Op. 130


Ocean Breakup – curated by Stephanie Griffin
Monday, October 15 at 7:00 pm
Americas Society
680 Park Ave., NYC

“Ocean Breakup” explores the literary connection between tales of heartbreak and tales of the sea. In classical music, perhaps the most famous instance of this is Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Versatile soprano Ariadne Greif joins Momenta and friends in the world premiere of Stephanie Griffin’s chamber arrangement of the “Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde, with additional works by Alba Potes, Carl Bettendorf, Guy Barash, and Stephanie Griffin.

Stephanie Griffin: Poem from Exile (2015)
Alba Potes: Oleajes (2003 rev. 2015)
Guy Barash: String Quartet no. 1 “Wrong Ocean” (2012)
Carl Bettendorf: Il y a l’Océan (2009)
Richard Wagner (arr. Griffin): “Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde


Points of Departure – curated by Emilie-Anne Gendron
Wednesday, October 17 at 7:00 pm
Americas Society
680 Park Ave., NYC

This program explores an eclectic selection of works, spanning three centuries, that stimulate the listening imagination with their vivid sonic topographies. In addition to three highly dynamic and contrasting solo violin works by Nicola Matteis, Jean Martinon, and Kaija Saariaho, “Points of Departure” features Roberto Sierra’s String Quartet No. 2, lushly tropical and full of dance rhythms in homage to his Puerto Rican Roots. In stark contrast, the placid Song of the Varied Thrush by Winnipegian Ann Southam is cool and Nordic in atmosphere, while Aaron Copland’s Sextet brings to mind a vibrant, mechanical cityscape. The Copland features special guests Stephen Gosling, piano and Benjamin Fingland, clarinet – two of the foremost interpreters of the music of our time.

Nicola Matteis the Younger: Alia Fantasia (ca. 1720) for solo violin
Jean Martinon: Sonatine No. 5, Op.32/1 (1942) for solo violin
Roberto Sierra: String Quartet No. 2 (2010)
Kaija Saariaho: Nocturne (1994) for solo violin
Ann Southam: Song of the Varied Thrush (1991)
Aaron Copland: Sextet (1937)


The Power of Four – curated by Michael Haas
Friday, October 19 at 7:00 pm
The Tenri Cultural Institute
43a W. 13th St., NYC

The fourth night of Momenta Festival IV revolves around, what else, the number four. The program opens with Four to One (2011), a work written for Momenta by the brilliant young composer Eric Nathan. The central work on the program is Bartók’s iconic and revolutionary Fourth String Quartet (1928), a masterpiece of the 20th century. Momenta is joined by the Argus Quartet to round out the program with Enescu’s brilliant and virtuosic Octet for Strings, Op. 7, a passionate joyride that harnesses the energy and exuberance of youth with the power of eight musicians.

Eric Nathan: Four to One (2011)
Béla Bartók: Fourth String Quartet (1928)
George Enescu: Octet for Strings, Op. 7 (1900)


For press inquiries, contact Gail Wein of Classical Music Communications at ClassicalCommunications@gmail.com (646) 484 9691.