October 15-19: Momenta Festival V

In celebration of its 15th Anniversary, Momenta Quartet presents: Momenta Festival V - October 15, 16, 18 & 19

Four concerts each curated by a different quartet member

Admission is free for all Momenta Festival concerts Reservations strongly encouraged for events at Americas Society October 15 & October 16

"[the Momenta Festival] has become one of the most amazingly eclectic, never mind herculean feats attempted by any chamber ensemble in this city..." - New York Music Daily

October 15-19, 2019: Momenta Quartet presents the Momenta Festival at Americas Society and Tenri Cultural Institute. The fifth edition of the Festival features five premieres (four world premieres and one NYC premiere). Admission to all concerts is free. The festival features four diverse chamber music programs each curated by a different member of the quartet. With programs that blend the old and new, the "intriguing programming" (The New York Times) and "striking originality" (I Care If You Listen) of the Momenta Festival have been acclaimed by critics and fans alike.

The 2019 festival opens at Americas Society on October 15 with a retrospective on 15 years of the Momenta Quartet, featuring guest conductor David Bloom, vocalist Brad Walker and curated by violist Stephanie Griffin. The performance includes the world premiere of Alvin Singleton's Chamber Music America commission as well as the late Mario Davidovsky's String Trio. The music continues on October 16 with the program “Night Dances” curated by violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron and featuring works by Roberto Sierra and Gyorgy Ligeti. The festival moves downtown to the Tenri Cultural Institute for the final two concerts. On October 18, cellist Michael Haas’ program “American Voices” features a world premiere by Christopher Stark and a New York premiere by Alyssa Weinberg. The festival concludes on October 19 with the program “Toy Stories” curated by violinist Alex Shiozaki. Momenta is joined by toy pianist Phyllis Chen in a program inspired by the recent birth of Shiozaki’s first child. The evening ends with a performance of Mozart's String Quartet K. 387, a consonent conclusion to a wildly diverse quartet of programs.

"We founded this festival in 2015 as an artistic outlet for each of our individual musical interests," says Momenta violist Stephanie Griffin. "I continue to be surprised to discover new pieces and composers that my Momenta colleagues introduce me to through this festival."

Admission to all concerts is free. Reservations strongly encouraged for events at Americas Society October 15 & October 16

Momenta Quartet's 2019 Momenta Festival

Fifteen Years of Momenta: A Retrospective - curated by Stephanie Griffin

Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 pm

Americas Society

680 Park Ave., NYC

Free admission

Momenta Festival V opens with a celebration of Momenta’s 15th anniversary with selected milestones from their unique and eclectic personal repertoire along with world premieres by Matthew Greenbaum (conducted by David Bloom) and the Chamber Music America commission of Alvin Singleton. The Momenta Quartet is joined by bass-baritone Brad Walker.


Mario Davidovsky: String Trio

Julian Carrillo: String Quartet no. 10

Alvin Singleton: Hallelujah Anyhow CMA Commission WORLD PREMIERE

Matthew Greenbaum: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry for baritone and string quartet WORLD PREMIERE, text by Walt Whitman

Guest artists: baritone Brad Walker and conductor David Bloom

Night Dances - curated by Emilie-Anne Gendron

Wednesday, October 16 at 7:00 pm

Americas Society

680 Park Ave., NYC

Free admission

"Dreamy and hallucinatory works inspired by or evocative of night music- contrasts of darkness and light, mysterious atmospheres and manipulations of time, extremes of character and emotion." This is how violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron describes her program which features the world premiere of Roberto Sierra's String Quartet no.3 - written for and dedicated to Momenta. Also on the program is Ligeti's raucous and colorful String Quartet no.1, music by Harry Partch arranged by the late Ben Johnston, and more.


Roberto Sierra: String Quartet no. 3 WORLD PREMIERE

Gyorgy Ligeti: String Quartet no. 1 “Metamorphoses nocturnes"

Mario Lavista: String Quartet no. 2 "Reflejos de la noche"

Harry Partch (arr. Ben Johnston): Two Studies on Ancient Greek Scales

Erwin Schulhoff: Sonata for solo violin

American Voices - curated by Michael Haas

Friday, October 18 at 7:00 pm

Tenri Cultural Institute

43a W.13th St., NYC

Free admission

Featuring the world premiere of Christopher Stark's Seasonal Music, the New York premiere of Alyssa Weinberg's Still Life for clarinet and string quartet, as well as music by Manena Contreras and Jason Kao Hwang - American Voices highlights music all written in the past 15 years.


Manena Contreras: Instantes

Alyssa Weinberg: Still Life for clarinet and string quartet NYC PREMIERE

Jason Kao Hwang: If We Live in Forgetfulness, We Die in a Dream

Christopher Stark: Seasonal Music WORLD PREMIERE

Guest artist: clarinetist Eric Umble

Toy Stories - curated by Alex Shiozaki

Saturday, October 19 at 7:00 pm

Tenri Cultural Institute

43a W.13th St., NYC

Free admission

Toy Stories is inspired by a recent, life-changing event that I experienced on May 2, 2019: the birth of my son. While I have long been interested in the unconventional sounds of toy instruments, this year’s festival seemed like the right time for a 'toy program'." - Alex Shiozaki. For the final concert of the 2019 festival, the Momenta Quartet is joined by toy pianist Phyllis Chen.


Stephanie Griffin: "Happy Car Ride" from The Lost String Quartet

Stefano Gervasoni: Adagio ghiacciato da Mozart, KV 356 for toy piano and violin

Phyllis Chen: The Matter Within for deconstructing toy piano, toy piano tines, and string quartet

Mozart: String Quartet No. 14 in G major, K387

Guest artist: toy pianist Phyllis Chen

Momenta: the plural of momentum - four individuals in motion towards a common goal. This is the idea behind the Momenta Quartet, whose eclectic vision encompasses contemporary music of all aesthetic backgrounds alongside great music from the recent and distant past. The New York City-based quartet has premiered over 150 works, collaborated with over 200 living composers and was praised by The New York Times for its "diligence, curiosity and excellence." In the words of The New Yorker's Alex Ross, "few American players assume Haydn's idiom with such ease."

Momenta has appeared at such prestigious venues as the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery, Rubin Museum, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Washington University in St. Louis, Ostrava Days in the Czech Republic, and at the internationally renowned Cervantino Festival in Mexico. Momenta has recorded for Centaur Records, Furious Artisans, PARMA, New World Records, and Albany Records; and has been broadcast on WQXR, Q2 Music, Austria's Oe1, and Vermont Public Radio.