New York City’s own Momenta Quartet 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 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 Street, NY, NY 10001.
Recognized by Steve Smith as “one of the city’s most inquisitive, accomplished violists” (Time Out New York), Stephanie Griffin 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 (see Hilary Chaplain’s Page) 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.”
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 free of charge and open to audiences of all ages.
FREE ADMISSION: Seating is limited, so please reserve at this link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3181579