Fundraising Drive Update

Photo by Nana Shi: Momenta and the Argus Quartet performing Enescu’s String Octet at the Momenta Festival IV

Happy Holidays to all of you from the Momenta Quartet, and greetings from British Columbia, California, Connecticut and New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. (You can try to guess which one of us is where…)

Thank you so much to all of you who have contributed to our Momenta Fifteenth Anniversary Fundraising Drive so far. With $5785 raised to date, we’ve got quite a ways to go to meet our $10,000 goal within the next five days. But with your help, we know we can do it!


It’s not easy keeping an arts organization going in today’s climate. As I mentioned in one of my previous emails, we saw our New York State Council funding cut in half for 2019, so we are relying more than ever on the tax-deductible donations of our friends to support our Fifteenth Anniversary Season and our Momenta Festival V in 2019. You’ve already heard from me, Emilie and Alex, so this week I asked Michael what he’s most looking forward to for next year’s festival.

Michael writes:

Momenta has had a great year full of performance, collaboration, and travel. As we look forward to 2019 I am most excited about premiering new works that are currently being written for us. I can think of no better way to premiere them than on the Momenta Festival, where we celebrate the wide range of music that moves us and offer free admission to New York audiences!
While my next Momenta Festival program is still a secret (perhaps even to myself) I am very excited about our Chamber Music America commission for composer Alvin Singleton. He has been a friend since we performed his earlier string quartets at his 75th birthday celebration in 2016, and we’re thrilled that his next string quartet is being written for us! The same is true for esteemed composer and Cornell faculty member Roberto Sierra. We’ve performed his Second Quartet in the past two seasons and can’t wait to see what he has in store for us with the third!
A couple more premieres in the works include composers that have been working with Momenta for years: Matthew Greenbaum and Christopher Stark. Matthew Greenbaum has been a friend of Momenta since the quartet began 15 years ago, and has written a number of pieces for the quartet, including More Venerable Canons (2014) and Castelnau (2008) which we performed on Momenta Festival III. Christopher Stark is one of the first composers that I worked with when I officially joined Momenta in 2010, while he was still a student at Cornell. We premiered his Winter Music on the Momenta Festival II, and will soon premiere his complete cycle of the seasons.
So please stay tuned to hear about Momenta Festival V, coming to New York in the fall of 2019. If you can help us reach our fundraising goal we’ll again be able to offer all of these concerts for free! As reviewer Harry Rolnick puts it, “For New York music-lovers, the holiday season is signified not by turkeys or costumes or Kris Kringles, but by the Momenta Festival.” If you agree we hope you’ll donate and see you at a concert soon!


We’ve been traveling a lot this Fall, and so far we have only published one video from the Momenta Festival IV but it’s a great one! So here is the video of our live performance of the world premiere of my chamber arrangement of the Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, as a little holiday gift to you.

We hope you enjoy this video and that you will consider a pledge of your support in the final five days of this fiscal year. Thanks again to all of you who have supported us so far, and best wishes for the new year!