Momenta - Visiting Artist Series
Fri, April 5th, 2019
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Members of Momenta Quartet are Emilie-Anne Gendron and Alex Shiozaki, violins; Stephanie Griffin, viola; and Michael Haas, cello. Along with featured guests, they present a concert of modern works, many by living composers. David Glaser’s All One Breath for soprano, clarinet, piano and string quartet sets to music Ecclesiastes 7:6 and Ecclesiastes 3:16 – 22. Ileana Perez Velazquez’s Elegía for String Quartet (2017) is inspired by the work of Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez and references the flamenco clave as a point of departure. After the intermission, Stephanie Griffin presents a world premiere of her own composition, The Leopard for soprano, clarinet and piano, featuring Sharon Harms, soprano; Ben Fingland, clarinet; Christopher Oldfather piano; and conductor Carl Bettendorf. Ileana Perez Velazquez’s work, Vuelo also celebrates a world premiere, inspired by Miguel Hernandez’s poem “El vuelo.” The evening’s grand finale is Aaron Copland’s Sextet (1937) for string quartet, clarinet, and piano, described as a work of “kaleidoscopic metric innovations and stylistic wanderlust.”
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 in the words of The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, “few American players assume Haydn’s idiom with such ease.” Momenta has performed at such prestigious venues as The Library of Congress, the International Cervantino Festival (Mexico) and the Ostrava Music Days (Czech Republic); has traveled in Southeast Asia and Bolivia; and has performed at numerous universities, among them Cornell and Harvard. Its annual self-produced Momenta Festival has met critical acclaim since its inauguration in 2015. The quartet has received prestigious commission grants from the Koussevitzky, Jerome and Barlow Foundations, and its debut album, Similar Motion, is available on Albany Records.
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