Eric Plutz

Biography


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, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and maintains a private studio of organ students.

 

Mr. Plutz, who “performs with gusto, flair, clarity, and strong yet pliant rhythmic control (James Hildreth for The American Organist),” has made a total of four solo organ recordings.  French Trilogy is a recording of the Æolian-Skinner Organ at Byrnes Auditorium, Winthrop University, in Rock Hill, SC, regarding which Mr. Hildreth (TAO) wrote of Eric, “His broad musicianship and fluid virtuosity render authoritative performances that combine color, clarity, strength, and stylistic authenticity.”  Denver Jubilee is the premiere recording on the newly restored 1938 Kimball Organ of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, CO, about which David Schwartz (American Record Guide) wrote, “He plays it superbly and with exquisite taste.” “….he understands, as would a great orchestrator, how to register the more orchestral side of the instrument….” “Mr. Plutz’s performance delights our ears and souls.”

 

Two previous recordings are of the Princeton University Chapel Organ.  On the first, Musique Héroïque, the Washington Symphonic Brass joins Mr. Plutz.  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.” 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.” All four recordings are on the Pro Organo label, 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), Longwood Gardens, 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 three 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.  His playing has been broadcast on “With Heart and Voice,” “Pipedreams,” and “The Wanamaker Organ Hour.”

 

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.