New album fundraiser and “Classics for the Cows”

Please include Momenta in your year-end giving plans!

Photo by Nana Shi

Dear friends,

We did our best with 2020, which I think is all anyone can say about this year! It started off strong with back-to-back visits to Tennessee and Maine, respectively to play with the Iris Orchestra and continue our year-long residency at Bates College. I even managed to squeeze in a “solo” visit to Bates in February–though it was really a duo visit with pianist (and my spouse!) Nana Shi. But then everything shut down in March.

Like all other ensembles, we initially weren’t sure what to do besides have Zoom meetings about what to do. We did use the time to come up with our ongoing Composers At Home series, where we find out what our composer friends have been up to lately (and literally get a glimpse of their home!) In September, we managed to squeeze in two concerts: a socially-distanced Concourse Counterpoint concert at the Freedman Home in the Bronx, and the first of an annual series of outdoor concerts at the red barn of Elizabeth Brown and Lothar Osterburg, which we are calling “Classics For The Cows.” You’ll see why when you watch the concert here, filmed by Lothar!

Click the photo below to watch “Classics for the Cows”

One of the most painful decisions was to postpone Momenta Festival VI to 2021. While virtual concerts are a thing–keep an eye out for our pre-recorded Bates residency concert in spring 2021!–we felt that the spirit of Momenta Festival can only be captured in person. Rest assured, your 2019 donations toward MFVI are being kept for that purpose! Keep an eye out for updates from us.

Momenta recording a virtual concert at Oktaven Audio

In lieu of a busy schedule of live performances, we have been spending a sizeable amount of time in the recording studio. All of that time with those microphones gave us an idea: isn’t it time for another Momenta Quartet album? If you agree, please consider a tax-deductible donation to Momenta through our fiscal conduit, The Field, in your your-end giving plans. And if not, then read on to be persuaded…

Over the years, we have worked with and befriended dozens of composers, many of whom wrote pieces specifically with us in mind. As supporters of Momenta, you all know of the diversity of sound worlds that these composers inhabit. This new Momenta Quartet album will consist entirely of premiere recordings by some of our favorite American composers–Jason Kao HwangYusef LateefRoberto SierraShawn Jaeger and Elizabeth Brown, co-host of the aforementioned “Classics For The Cows” among many other accomplishments. Read more about our CD plans on Momenta’s Profile page on the website of our fiscal conduit, The Field.

I first got to know Elizabeth through her bite-sized Nanotudes, on literally my very first Momenta concert in 2016! It was on that day that I first heard about her amazing guacamole, which I have had the pleasure of partaking in several times over the years. Elizabeth has also performed with Momenta on both theremin and shakuhachi–a mind-blowing pair of instruments! She took part in our Composers-At-Home series back in May, which you can find here.

Last December, we premiered Babel, a music and sculpture/video collaboration by Elizabeth Brown and Lothar Osterburg. The music itself is for string quartet and soundscape, the latter featuring the voices of immigrants reading Emma Lazarus’s poem from the Statue of Liberty as well as ancient instruments and the sounds of New York City. On its own, the music has the power to move audiences. But for those who want the full multimedia experience, we do plan to make available the video that makes up the other half of this work!

By supporting Momenta now, you will become one of the forces behind Momenta 2021, including our next MQ album. We have weathered 9 months of uncertainty, but the end of the tunnel is in sight. To bring our ideas to fruition, we need to raise $10,000 before the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s Eve. All of your donations will be fully tax deductible through our fiscal conduit, The Field. 


We thank everyone who supported our fundraising drive last year, and look forward to finally seeing everybody in person very soon!

All the best,


Momenta Quartet / Stephanie Griffin is a sponsored artist with Performance Zone Inc (dba The Field), a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization serving the performing arts community. Contributions to The Field earmarked for Momenta Quartet / Stephanie Griffin are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about The Field contact: The Field, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 906 New York, NY 10038, phone: 212-691-6969; or for our national charities registration, see details. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained from The Field or from the Office of Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.