Meet the Artists: Mozart’s Splendid Finale

The 2014–2015 Season concludes with a Masterworks Concert, Mozart’s Splendid Finale, an exploration in music and letters of Mozart’s final year of life. Join us as we present excerpts from some of the best works of one of history’s greatest musical minds with the help of our incredibly talented soloists. 

Kristen Plumley

Connecticut native Kristen Plumley has performed with many opera companies throughout the country, including New York City Opera, Amarillo Opera, Greensboro Opera, Virginia Opera Opera Festival of New Jersey, Chautauqua Opera, Boheme Opera (NJ), Lyric Opera of Cleveland, L’Opéra Français de New York, Opera Memphis, and Nevada Opera. She has sung leading roles in the major works of the opera repertory: La bohème, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, L’Elisir d’amore, Le nozze di Figaro, and more. On the concert stage Kristen has performed a broad spectrum of works, including Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War at Carnegie Hall, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Elgar’s For the Fallen, Bach’s “Coffee” Cantata, and Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, “Basically Bernstein” with Opera Tampa, and An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan with the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, Richmond, Memphis and Minnesota. Her favorite concert is An Evening of Sci-Fi Favorites (music from science fiction movies and television shows, hosted by George Takei), which she has performed with the Cleveland, Indianapolis, Seattle, Baltimore, Edmonton and Ottawa Symphonies, among others. In 2011 Kristen performed in the North American premiere of Handel’s first opera, Almira, with operamission in New York. She lives in Ridgewood with her husband, Jeff, and her nine-year-old twins, who don’t let their mom ever sing around them! Please visit Kristen’s website,

Kate Maroney

Recognized for her elegant and versatile singing in oratorio and opera spanning the Renaissance to works by contemporary composers, mezzo soprano Kate Maroney was recently featured worldwide in over 75 performances of Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach, and made her Lincoln Center solo debut with the American Classical Orchestra in Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Kate appeared as a soloist with Anonymous 4, The Bangor Symphony, Clarion, Bach Collegium San Diego, American Symphony Orchestra at Bard SummerScape, Princeton Pro Musica, Yale Choral Artists, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, Ensemble Signal at the Lincoln Center Festival, Ekmeles, Mark Morris Dance Group, Vox Vocal Ensemble, St. Luke in the Fields, American Opera Projects, Berkshire Bach Society, Brooklyn Art Song Society, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Kate sings regularly with Trinity Wall Street, Voices of Ascension, and the Oregon Bach Festival Berwick Chorus, where she will appear as a Vocal Fellow and alto soloist in 2015, under Matthew Halls. Kate holds degrees in music from Eastman, Yale and SUNY Purchase, and resides in Brooklyn, NY. 

Owen McIntosh

Praised as a “lovely, tender high tenor,” (the New York Times) Owen McIntosh is a “stylistically impeccable,” singer who produces the “clearest lines and most nuanced performances.” (Boston Music Intelligencer). A native of Northern California, he has enjoyed a career of diverse musical endeavors ranging from reggae to bluegrass, opera to oratorio, and contemporary to medieval music. Recent solo engagements include the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 with Apollo’s Fire and Green Mountain Project, and his Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Boston Baroque and Opera Omnia; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Grand Rapids Symphony, and as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with Tucson Chamber Artists. Summer festival appearances include Carmel Bach Festival, Staunton Music Festival, Festival Ensemble Stuttgart, JSB Ensemble, and Berkeley Early Music Festival. Mr. McIntosh regularly performs and records with Apollo’s Fire, Blue Heron, Green Mountain Project, New Vintage Baroque, Tucson Chamber Artists, Trinity Wall Street Choir, and TENET. 

Jonathan Woody

Bass-baritone Jonathan Woody is a sought-after performer of early and new music in New York and across the United States. Equally comfortable as soloist and ensemble member, Jonathan is a member of the Grammy®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, where he has earned praise as “charismatic” and “riveting” from the NYTimes for his solo work. Recent highlights include the premiere of Ted Hearne’s The Source at Brooklyn Academy of Music, a nationwide tour of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Apollo’s Fire, the 2014 Oregon Bach Festival Vocal Fellowship, and performances with the English Concert, Bach Collegium San Diego, Nashville Symphony, Pegasus Early Music, Green Mountain Project, TENET, Handel & Haydn Society, and the Washington Chorus. Upcoming projects include collaborations with Opera Lafayette, New York Polyphony, and New York Baroque Incorporated; Jonathan has also been selected as one of American Opera Projects’ “Composers & the Voice” Fellows for the 2015-2016 season. He has recorded with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street under the Musica Omnia label, and can also be heard on recordings with Opera Lafayette, Acis Productions and the Wolf Trap Opera Company. Jonathan holds degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park; and McGill University, and currently resides in Brooklyn. 

Eric Umble

Clarinetist Eric Umble resides in New York City and maintains an active performing and teaching career. In New York, Eric has appeared in notable venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Internationally, Eric has presented recitals at the Dvorak Museum in Prague; in Enschede, the Netherlands; the conservatories of Bucharest and Timisoara, Romania, Xhochipilli Hall in Mexico City, and numerous medieval churches in the south of France. Eric has performed with the NYTimes-acclaimed WindScape Quintet, as well as such world-class ensembles as the American Modern Ensemble, the Tactus Ensemble and Ensemble Mise-en.

Eric is dedicated to using music as an agent of positive change in the community. He produces benefit concerts that raise thousands of dollars for public health, homeless shelters and disaster relief. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Lancaster Red Rose Award for Community Service, the T. Gordon Parks Memorial Competition, the Fuchs Chamber Music Competition and the Naftzger Young Artist Competition (grand prize winner). Eric is a founding member of the innovative chamber ensemble “sTem,” which is involved in numerous commissioning projects. He has appeared as a guest soloist with the Skokie Valley and University of Kansas Symphonies, as well as the Arapahoe Philharmonic and the Manhattan School of Music Sinfonia.

Eric teaches in the New York community through the MSM Sunday Program and has presented masterclasses at the Escuela Nacional de Musica in Mexico City. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and is currently pursuing his Masters at the Manhattan School. 

Susan LaFever

Susan LaFever has been a horn soloist and collaborative pianist for over twenty years. Ms. LaFever received a Bachelor of Music Performance degree in French Horn and Piano at Union College in Lincoln, NE, and earned her Master of Music in Horn Performance at the University of Nebraska.

As a professional hornist, Susan is Principal Horn of the Doansburg Chamber Orchestra; third horn, Bridgeport Symphony; and hornist of the Zinkali Trio (flute, horn & piano). Ms. LaFever is a frequent recitalist and soloist in the Northeast and has been on solo tours of the Midwest and Florida. She has given master classes at the University of Iowa, Western Illinois University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as giving clinics and performances at several recent horn workshops in the Northeast. In January of last year she performed the world premiere of Greg Bartholomew’s Sailor Birds for solo horn. She and Zinkali presented a lecture/performance at the 2010 International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto.

Currently Ms. LaFever is pianist with Garden State Opera, The Ridgewood Choral, and Ars Musica Chorale. She has accompanied Broadway stars, members of the New York Philharmonic, and other brass soloists in concert and was conductor/pianist for the Northeast tour of Scrooge, The Musical. She was formerly a pianist with the Choral Department at Kean University and now is an accompanist at Montclair State University. Ms. LaFever holds the position of Music Director at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Eastchester, NY.

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Ars Musica’s concert season is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.



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