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5BMF Presents the Cramer Quartet in the World Premiere of the Seven Last Words Project

October 25, 2021 | By Katy Salomon
Account Director, Morahan Arts and Media


PR Contact: Katy Salomon | Morahan Arts & Media | 863.660.2214

Five Boroughs Music Festival Presents the
Cramer Quartet in the Premiere of the Seven Last Words Project

Performances in Partnership with the Sheen Center for Thought and
Culture on November 18 and Flushing Town Hall on November 21

NEW YORK, NY (October 25, 2021) — Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF), in partnership with the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture and Flushing Town Hall, is proud to present the acclaimed Cramer Quartet in their premiere performances of the Seven Last Words Project.

The first concert will take place on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 7:30pm at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in Manhattan, and the second concert will take place on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 7:00pm at the Flushing Town Hall in Queens. The Cramer Quartet consists of violinists Jessica Park and Chiara Fasani Stauffer, violist Keats Dieffenbach, and cellist Shirley Hunt.

The Seven Last Words Project is an immersive string quartet performance that interweaves seven new works by composers Jessica MeyerColin JacobsenNico MuhlyTania LeónReena EsmailPaola Prestini, and Caroline Shaw with Franz Joseph Haydn’s nine-movement masterpiece The Seven Last Words of Christ. Each of the new works is written as a response to a movement of the Haydn, taking the place of sermons that would traditionally be given in a church service setting. The result is a quilting of old and new, and a meditation on these seven famed phrases from a contemporary and global viewpoint.

At the Sheen Center performance on November 18, audiences will also have the opportunity to experience the show with accompanying digital projections designed by Camilla Tassi, a new and experimental component of the Seven Last Words Project and the start of an ongoing partnership with the Cramer Quartet.

Additional 2021-2022 season events presented by 5BMF include Castle of Our Skins performing their NYC debut in a program featuring Florence Price’s Piano Quintet and Undine Smith Moore’s Soweto for piano trio, paired with a lecture by Dr. Samantha Ege, a musicologist and Price scholar based at Oxford University; and the return of 5BMF’s flagship project, the Five Borough Songbook, Volume III, comprised of 15 new songs by 15 composers, co-presented by On Site Opera and performed by vocalists from Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble.

Five Boroughs Music Festival is committed to the health and safety of patrons, artists, and staff, and continues to monitor and comply with current New York City COVID-19 guidelines and requirements. All guests aged 12 and up attending 5BMF’s indoor, or indoor/outdoor hybrid, performances are required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 at time of entry. Masks are required at all times inside 5BMF venues. 5BMF’s health and safety guidelines are subject to change as federal, state, and city recommendations evolve. 

Concert Information
Cramer Quartet: The Seven Last Words Project
Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 7:30pm
The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture | 18 Bleecker St | New York, NY 10012
 $30 General Admission

Cramer Quartet: The Seven Last Words Project
Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 7:00pm
Flushing Town Hall | 137-35 Northern Blvd | Queens, NY 11354
 $25 General Admission, $15 Students with ID

JOSEPH HAYDN: The Seven Last Words of Christ
     Introduzione: Maestoso ed Adagio
     Sonata I: Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”)
JESSICA MEYER: Father, forgive them
     Sonata II: Hodie mecum eris in paradiso (“Verily, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise”)
     Sonata III: Mulier, ecce filius tuus (“Woman, behold your son”) 
NICO MUHLY: Short Variation on Mulier, ecce filius tuus 
     Sonata IV: Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
TANIA LEÓN: Lágrimas (Tears)
     Sonata V: Sitio (“I thirst”)
REENA ESMAIL: Varsha (Rain) 
     Sonata VI: Consummatum est (“It is finished”)
PAOLA PRESTINI: It is finished
     Sonata VII: In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum (“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”) 
     Il terremoto (The Earthquake): Presto e con tutta la forza

Cramer Quartet
Jessica Park, violin
Chiara Fasani Stauffer, violin
Keats Dieffenbach, viola
Shirley Hunt, cello

Camilla Tassi, projection artist

About the Cramer Quartet
With period instruments and an invigorating historically informed approach, the Cramer Quartet brings uncommon warmth, transparency, and texture to both classical-era string quartet repertoire and newly commissioned works that explore and expand the sound world of gut strings. The ensemble's programming strives to rebalance the string quartet canon and advance cultural equity, both in the realm of historical and contemporary music. As individuals who identify as women or gender expansive, people of color, and/or LGBTQ , each member of the quartet brings their own history of navigating classical music's exclusionary practices to the ensemble's cultural equity work. Learn more at

About Camilla Tassi
Born in Florence, Italy, Camilla Tassi is a designer and musician interested in the production of early and contemporary music performances. Her work as a projection designer includes Apollo’s Fire’s opera tour of Monteverdi's L’Orfeo, including performances at Zellerbach Hall (Berkeley, CA) and Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor, MI). She has designed video projections for staged works such as Pollock’s Stinney: An American Execution (PROTOTYPE Festival, NYC), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Berlin Opera Academy), Scarlatti’s Il Primo Omicidio (Yale Voxtet, CT), Glass’ The Fall of the House Usher for Arthur Yorinks (MASS MoCA, MA), Carissimi’s Jepthe (Hopkins Center for the Arts, NH), Tesori’s Fun Home (Yale School of Drama), as well as for recitals, chamber music, and theater. Learn more at

About Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF)
Since 2007, Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF) has brought virtuosic chamber music performances of the highest caliber to every borough of NYC, cultivating new audiences for the genre and encouraging music lovers to look beyond Manhattan for outstanding performances. Lauded as “imaginative” by The New York Times, “enterprising” by The New Yorker, and “vital” by WQXR’s Operavore blog, 5BMF’s commitment to musical outreach and diverse programming has distinguished it as a standout presence in the New York City arts community from its earliest days.

5BMF’s artist roster of over 250 individual performers and ensembles is comprised of talented emerging artists and distinguished musicians alike, representing a diverse range of musical genres and styles. Its venues are just as eclectic, and have included performing arts spaces, cultural centers, and historic New York City landmarks such as Federal Hall, Pregones Theater, Flushing Town Hall, King Manor Museum, Brooklyn Historical Society, the Alice Austen House, and the Staten Island Museum, to name merely a few.

As champions of new music, 5BMF has commissioned over 50 composers and presented world premieres of their works all across New York City, most notably the two borough-wide tours of its Five Borough Songbook Volumes I and II. 5BMF’s outreach initiatives continue to expand every year, and have included program-related interactive lectures and discussions, public masterclasses with world renowned performing artists, and free public programming. Learn more at

About the Sheen Center
The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture ( is a New York City arts center located in NoHo that presents a vibrant mix of theater, film, music, art and talk events. A project of the Archdiocese of New York, The Sheen Center serves all New Yorkers by presenting performances and artists that reflect the true, the good, and the beautiful. Named for the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best remembered as an inspirational author, radio host and two-time Emmy Award-winning television personality, The Sheen Center reflects his modern-day approach to contemporary topics. The Sheen Center is a state-of-the-art theater complex that includes the 270-seat off-Broadway Loreto Theater, equipped with five-camera high-definition TV and live-stream capability and a multi-track recording studio; the 80-seat off-off-Broadway Black Box Theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery.

About Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts
The mission of Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts (FCCA) is to present multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens, New York and New York City, New York, in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve as stewards of Flushing Town Hall, restoring, managing and programming the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FCCA celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world, and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657. Learn more at

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