Please support Momenta in its 15th Anniversary Year!

Lucy Shelton and Momenta perform at the opening night of Momenta Festival IV
Photo by Nana Shi

It’s almost 2019, which will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the Momenta Quartet! In typical violist fashion, I am the last founding member standing, and I am full of memories of all the wonderful experiences I’ve had in the past fourteen years, and of all the struggles along the way.

Of course, it’s not easy to keep a quartet going for this long, and we could not have done it without your support! We have exciting plans for musical adventures in 2019 and beyond, and hope you will consider a tax-deductible donation to Momenta through our fiscal conduit, The Field, in your year-end giving plans.


Thanks to the advocacy of composer Matthew Greenbaum, Momenta started out in 2004 with two concerts a year at Temple University in Philadelphia, and two self-produced “door gigs” at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. Fourteen years later, we now give about thirty concerts per season, here in New York City, around the country and in such far-flung climes as Cochabamba, Bolivia. We have given hundreds of world premieres, championed countless under-represented composers from all around the globe, presented exciting and eclectic concert programs juxtaposing just about every kind of contemporary music with the venerable classics, and produced our own fearlessly ambitious annual festival since 2015.

By supporting Momenta now, you will become one of the forces behind the Momenta Festival V in New York City in October 2019. For those of you who have not yet attended our festival, we produce four dynamically different concerts, each one curated by a different member of the quartet. And since 2017, all of the concerts have been FREE!

In order to keep this up,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.


As this fundraising campaign continues, I will keep you apprised of the musical menus my colleagues are cooking up for next season. Meanwhile, in honor of Momenta’s fifteenth anniversary, my program will be a retrospective of what I consider to be Momenta’s unique and definitive repertoire. Of course, it’s impossible to represent Momenta’s history in one concert program, which is why our festival has four concerts and happens every single year! Most of the program is still to be determined, but I will definitely include a world premiere by Matthew Greenbaum, to whom Momenta owes its existence, and a substantial work by the Mexican microtonal innovator, Julián Carrillo, since we have been engaging in a long-term project to perform and record all thirteen of his string quartets in collaboration with the musicologist Alejandro Madrid.  We are the only string quartet to have access to this historically important music and look forward to making these world premiere recordings.

So, like the Roman god Janus, Momenta is looking towards the future and the past. Every day we are making a little bit of history, through our advocacy of the next generations of composers and our efforts to unearth the treasures of the past.

Meanwhile, I thank all of you who supported our Momenta Festival IV last year, and hope you will join us in our mission with a pledge of your support this holiday giving season.