The Lost String Quartet




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.



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:

New York City’s own Momenta Quartet, praised by The New York Times for its “diligence, curiosity, and excellence,” is pleased to announce the world premiere of its first original show for children, The Lost String Quartet, with music by Momenta’s own violist Stephanie Griffin and libretto and mise-en-scène by Mexican comedic actor and theater director Fernando Villa Proal. After giving eight semi-private performances for a total of five hundred inner city primary school kids at 10 am and 11:45am daily from December 5th through December 8th, under the auspices of the groundbreaking and life-changing non-profit, The Time In Children’s Arts Initiative, Momenta and Fernando Villa Proal will offer one free public performance for young people and the young at heart on Sunday, December 10th at 11am at The Time In Children’s

Arts Initiative Gallery at 227 West 29th StreetNY, 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).


Press are also welcome to attend any of the 8 private shows for the Time In Children’s Arts Initiative program:
Tuesday, December 5 through Friday, December 10: 10 am and 11:45 am each day
 By appointment only
Please RSVP to Stephanie Griffin: griffistef@yahoo.com