MOMENTA QUARTET ANNOUNCES THE
WORLD PREMIERE OF
THE LOST STRING QUARTET
A THEATRICAL STRING QUARTET FOR CHILDREN
With original music by Momenta violist/composer Stephanie Griffin
and theater direction by Mexican director Fernando Villa Proal
Based on the book THE LOST STRING QUARTET by N. M. Bodecker
Copyright © 1983 by N.M. Bodecker
Adapted for the stage by permission of Atheneum Books For Young Readers,
an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. All rights reserved.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 11AM
The Time In Children’s Arts Initiative
227 W. 29th Street, Studio 4R
NY, NY 10001
Seating is limited, so please reserve at this link:
Arts Initiative Gallery at 227 West 29th Street, NY, NY 10001.
Recognized by Steve Smith as “one of the city’s most inquisitive, accomplished violists” (Time Out New York), StephanieGriffin has been as active in the classical contemporary music scene as in New York’s flourishing downtown experimental music and avant-jazz scenes. After over 20 years as a sought-after improviser and creative collaborator for numerous composers, Ms. Griffin has taken to composition herself. In her first three years as an active composer she has already won prestigious fellowship grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the Jerome Foundation. The Lost String Quartet was Ms. Griffin’s vision after purchasing N. M. Bodecker’s whimsical book from a book vendor on Broadway over ten years ago.
Fernando Villa Proal is a young comedic actor, director and founder of Mexico City’s Efetres Teatro. He has performed his original works in Mexico, the United States and Spain, and has does extensive work with children’s theater, including his own children’s version of Shakespeare’s Henry V.
The Lost String Quartet recounts the many misadventures of a string quartet on its way to a concert on the other side of the mountain in mid-winter. The Momenta Quartet plays the members of the quartet as musicians and actors, and has been working with physical comedy coach Hilary Chaplain in preparation for the task. Mr. Villa Proal is the narrator and plays all the characters Momenta encounters on its troubled path.
As the story progresses, each instrument meets its own special demise, and Ms. Griffin’s score includes pieces for string quartet, solos for violin, viola and cello, and pieces combining the string instruments with the replacements picked up on the journey: a car door, oil pan, tire iron, and the special “Bean-o-lin,” “Viola Constrictor” and “Tyre of Orpheus.” Using the ebullient Finale of Mozart’s String Quartet K. 387 as a point of departure, Ms. Griffin embarks on a playful musical journey that references a wide assortment of highlights from the classical canon, among them Beethoven’s Spring and Moonlight sonatas, Vivaldi’s Winter, Brahms’ HungarianDances and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, to name only a few.
Through this project Ms. Griffin and Mr. Proal are innovating an unusual performance medium. Neither a play nor a string quartet concert, the piece treats musical performance as theater and theater as a necessary element of musical expression, all the while aiming to delight children and their adult counterparts. This family-friendly event is freeofcharge and open to audiences of all ages.
The Lost String Quartet is made possible through grants from New Music USA, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Amphion Foundation and Aaron Copland Fund for Music; and composition fellowship grants from the Jerome Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).