Music At Noon, the concert series sponsored by Music At Morristown United Methodist Church, continues its 33rd season with a concert on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, featuring Eric Plutz, organist.
The concert will be held in the sanctuary of the Morristown United Methodist Church, 50 Park Place (on the Green). There is a light luncheon available for purchase before or after the concert (11:30 am to 1:30 pm). The cost of the luncheon is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. The December concerts are free to the public as a gift to the community. Free childcare is available during the concert. The sanctuary is handicapped accessible. For further information: www.morristownumc.com or 973-538-2132.
Eric Plutz is University Organist at Princeton University. There his responsibilities include playing for weekly services at the Chapel, Academic Ceremonies, solo concerts and accompanying the Chapel Choir in services and concerts. He also coordinates the weekly After Noon Concert Series at the University Chapel.
In addition, Mr. Plutz is rehearsal accompanist for the Westminster Symphonic Choir at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and Princeton Pro Musica, both in Princeton, NJ. He is also Instructor of Organ at Princeton University and maintains a private studio of organ students. More information, including Mr. Plutz’s performing schedule, is available at www.ericplutz.com.
Mr. Plutz, who “performs with gusto, flair, clarity, and strong yet pliant rhythmic control (James Hildreth for The American Organist),” has made two solo organ CD recordings at the Princeton University Chapel. On the first, Musique Héroïque, the Washington Symphonic Brass joins him. Regarding their performance of the Poème Héroïque by Marcel Dupré, Donald Metz (American Record Guide) said it was “…the best interpretation I’ve heard.” Additionally, Mr. Hildreth wrote that Eric’s performance of the Jongen Sonata Eroïca was “stunning.”
The second recording, Carnival, contains organ transcriptions of orchestral works, including Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. Regarding Carnival, Mr. Hildreth (TAO) writes, “Plutz’s extraordinary musicianship and dexterous command allow him to perform the most challenging passages (of which there are many!) with apparent ease. He performs the quiet pieces with poetry and grace.” A third recording, Denver Jubilee, has just been released. This is the premiere recording on the newly restored 1938 Kimball Organ of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, CO. A fourth, yet-to-be-titled recording on the Æolian-Skinner Organ at Byrnes Auditorium, Winthrop University, in Rock Hill, SC, is awaiting release in February 2013. All four recordings are on the Pro Organo label, www.proorgano.com.
As an organ concert soloist, Mr. Plutz has accepted engagements in distinguished locations across the United States and abroad including Salzburg, Austria (Franziskanerkirche), Philadelphia (Verizon Hall, the Wanamaker Organ), New York City (Avery Fisher Hall, Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Cathedral of St. John the Divine), Washington, DC (Washington National Cathedral), and San Francisco (Grace Cathedral). He has been a featured artist at two Regional Conventions of the American Guild of Organists (Region III in 2007, Regions I & II in 2011), and at the 2010 National AGO Convention in Washington, DC, Mr. Plutz performed twice, in collaboration with two local groups.
Recent performances include two tape-delay solo concerts and two live broadcasts of all-Bach concerts on WWFM, the Classical Network, and a Verizon Hall appearance under the baton of Helmuth Rilling.
As an accompanist, Mr. Plutz has worked with many organizations, including The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, National Symphony Orchestra, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Washington Symphonic Brass, and the Washington Ballet. He has accompanied the Voices of Ascension conducted by Dennis Keene and has worked with conductors Leonard Slatkin, J. Reilly Lewis and Norman Scribner in various venues in the Washington area, including the National Gallery of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Originally from Rock Island, Illinois, Mr. Plutz earned a Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in 1989 and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1991. From 1995 through 2004, Mr. Plutz was organist and director of music at Church of the Epiphany in Washington, D.C. and performed with numerous DC organizations. In 2004, while on sabbatical, he studied in Rochester, New York, with David Higgs, chair of Eastman’s organ department, and in Paris, France, with Marie-Louise Langlais, researching the major organ works of César Franck.
Funding has been made possible in part by funds from the Arts Council of the Morris Area through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. For further information: 973-538-2132 or www.morristownumc.com