The Moirae Ensemble is comprised of some of New York's most passionate and innovative young musicians. Tied together by their dedication to both new music and social conscientiousness, The Moirae Ensemble's programming features artists and works from a variety of disciplines.
CATHERINE HANCOCK | Soprano and Co-Founder
Soprano Catherine Hancock was born in the British Channel Islands and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to New York City. She regularly works closely with countless New York based ensembles and companies, and her performances range from opera to chamber music and concert repertoire. Next season Catherine will be making her debut with Toledo Opera as Cherubino in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and recent career highlights include performances at BAM, MoMA, Alice Tully Hall, and with The Mark Morris Dance Group, The New York Festival of Song, and The New York Electroacoustic Music Festival. She graduated from The Juilliard School with both a Bachelor and Master of Music.
Catherine is particularly passionate about contemporary music and exploring how music and social activism can be linked. Her belief that music can impact and change society inspired her to co found TheMoirae Ensemble in 2011. She has worked closely with cellist, Madeleine Shapiro (Director: Modernworks Co-director: The New Music Consort), and they are currently developing a project exploring and commissioning experimental works for voice and cello.
Catherine is equally as accomplished in historical performance. She has led a troupe of actors and musicians in programs constructed of 17th Century songs and poetry and the group is professionally recording an album this summer. She has also worked with Richard Egarr and Harry Bicket in productions of L’incoronazione di Poppea at Juilliard and The Britten-Pears Music Festival, singing the roles of La Fortuna, Valletto and Pallade. Additionally she has worked with Emma Kirkby, Andreas Scholl, Tamar Halperin, and Gary Wedow in early music performances.
In addition to singing, Catherine is a RYT 500 hour yoga instructor with a specialization in medical yoga therapy and mantra. She teaches yoga privately and at Chelsea Piers Sports Center in New York City. As a committed educator, Catherine has spent many years working in arts outreach and community engagement. She has worked extensively with Artists Striving to End Poverty, The International Rescue Committee, and Sing for Hope. In alignment with her love of historical performance, Catherine studies lute and continuo with Richard Kolb and plays with the New York Continuo Collective. And always exploring different means of artistic expression, Catherine works part time as a visual artist and writer.
FIONA KELLY | Flute
Irish flautist Fiona Kelly, hailed by the New York Times as a player with “impressive technique and elegant musicianship”, is principal flute of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
Fiona completed her Master’s degree at The Juilliard School, New York, studying with Robert Langevin. She won first prize in The Juilliard School Flute Competition and made her Lincoln Center debut performing Bernstein’s ‘Halil’ with The Juilliard Orchestra at The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre.
She began her studies at the Cork School of Music with her mother Evelyn Grant and completed her Bachelor of Music studies at Trinity College of Music, London, with Ms. Anna Noakes. While in London she won numerous awards including 1st Prize in the British Flute Society International Competition, the Royal Overseas League Sussex Prize and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Julius Isserlis Scholarship. Her orchestral experiences range from being offered the post of principal flute with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra of Ireland at the age of 22, to performances as a guest flautist with the New York Philharmonic.
SARAH KOENIG-PLONSKIER | Violin
As an active soloist and orchestral musician, Sarah Koenig-Plonskier has appeared with the Boston Pops Orchestra, and such esteemed ensembles as Le Poisson Rouge Ensemble, New York Classical Players, and most recently, the Moirae Ensemble.
Ms. Koenig-Plonskier began her solo career in 2005 with the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra, and has since enjoyed performances with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Brockton Symphony and Quincy Symphony Orchestra, and frequent appearances with the Lowell and Waltham Philharmonic Orchestras.
As an orchestral musician, Ms. Koenig-Plonskier was Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra, as well as a member of Axiom and New Juilliard Ensembles. Ms. Koenig-Plonskier has been invited to perform with her ensembles at Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, and Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Le Poisson Rouge in New York. Ms. Koenig-Plonskier received her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from The Juilliard School as a student of Joel Smirnoff and Glenn Dicterow.
GITY RAZAZ | Composer
Hailed by the New York Times as “ravishing and engulfing”, Gity Razaz’s music ranges from concert solo pieces to large symphonic works. She is an active collaborator involved in projects across disciplines from modern dance to electro-acoustic sonic landscapes. Ms. Razaz’s music has been commissioned and performed by VisionIntoArt, Metropolis Ensemble, National Ballet School of Canada, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, Plurimo Ensemble and Agimus Venezia, former cellist of Kronos Quartet Jeffrey Zeigler, New York Choreographic Institute, American Festival for the Arts, Amsterdam Cello Biennale, and Sirius String Quartet among others.
Her compositions have earned numerous national and international awards, such as the 2013 Jerome Foundation award, The Libby Larsen Prize in 28th International Search for New Music Competition, Juilliard Composers’ Orchestra Competition, three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer awards, Juilliard’s Palmer Dixon Award for the outstanding composition in 2010 and 2012, as well as special recognition from the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, ASCAP, the Brian Israel Composition Prize, Margaret Blackburn Memorial Competition, and the League of Composers (ISCM).
Aside from her ongoing engagements in composition, Ms. Razaz is also active as a teacher and educator. She frequently appears as a guest artist presenting master classes across the nation, while teaching piano, composition and music theory privately in New York City. In 2012, Ms. Razaz joined the faculty of Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she taught music theory and ear training, and served on the advisory committee for the American Federation of Teachers Graduate Scholarship.
A native of Tehran, Iran, Ms. Razaz started her musical studies in piano at a young age and began composing intuitively at age nine. Ms. Razaz attended The Juilliard School on full scholarship and received her Bachelor and Master of Music in Composition under the tutelage of Samuel Adler, Robert Beaser and John Corigliano.
BARRET ANSPACH | Composer
"I'm a composer of chamber music, orchestral music, pop music and ballet. I've received commissions from choreographers Price Suddarth and Andrew Bartee for orchestral works premiered at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and by Joel Sachs for the New Juilliard Ensemble, and have collaborated with a variety of artists in other disciplines, including performance artist Rachel Mason, choreographers Andrew Bartee and Zack Winokur, photographer/filmmaker Michael Hart, and musician Jenn Ghetto. After studies with Dr. Samuel Adler, I graduated in 2010 as Master of Music from The Juilliard School. Songwriter Seth Garrison and I together form the dream pop group Night Cadet."
STEPHANIE ANN BOYD | Composer
Lauded by conductor Cliff Colnot as "a composer set to become one of the most distinctive and important voices of her generation", 25 year old American composer Stephanie Ann Boyd endeavors to write music that brings whimsical worlds to life, that is meaningful to audience and performer alike, and that refreshes and strengthens the creative spirit. An advocate of the innate creativity in young people, she has brought composition programs to schools and music festivals in three countries. She maintains a studio of international composition students, with studio recitals being held twice a year in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and New York City.
Stephanie’s 2015/2016 season includes being composer-in-residence for the Kalliope Septet, commissions for a new set of lullabies for tenor Rafael Helbig-Kostka, a cello concerto for Alan Toda-Ambaras, and a co-commission involving 50 violinists across America. Last season’s highlights involved co-directing the Tuesday Night New Music concert series, winning New England Conservatory's Donald Martino Prize for Excellence in Composition, being chosen as the NEC/Boston Modern Orchestra Project Competition winner, and having her violin concerto premiered in Jordan Hall by recent Michael Hill International Competition prize-winner Eunae Koh under the baton of Australian conductor Nathan Aspinall.
A two-time winner of the Chicago College of Performing Arts Vector Project, Stephanie’s music has been played on New York City’s 89.9 WKCR, Chicago’s 98.7 WFMT, and WRBC The Blaze Radio. Her orchestral music has been performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the JVL Festival Orchestra, the Cremona Academy Festival Orchestra, the CCPA Symphony Orchestra, the Grammy-winning Pioneer Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Orchestra, and Eighth Hour Encore. Her string orchestra works are published by TRN Music. When not composing, Ms. Boyd secretly enjoys screaming trumpet music, openly enjoys John William Waterhouse paintings, and will never pass up a London Fog latte. Boyd resides in Inwood, Manhattan.
MARIE INCONTRERA | Composer
Marie Incontrera is a composer, conductor, and bandleader whose work spans queer opera, political big band, and music-for-the-oppressed. As a composer, Marie has been a recipient of the Miriam Gideon Composition Award, a winner of the Remarkable Theater Brigade Art Song Competition, the 2011 Vocalessence/American Composers Forum “Essentially Choral” readings, and was a ﬁnalist in the Iron Composer 2010 competition. She has been awarded grants from Meet the Composer Metlife Creative Connections , Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, Pufﬁn, and New York Women Composers Seed Money Grant. Commissions have come from the Young New Yorkers Chorus, Remarkable Theater Brigade, ANALOGarts, Brooklyn Art Song Society, ANIKAI Dance Theater, MOIRAE Ensemble, the Eric Stokes Fund, and Atlanta Opera. Her work has been performed in Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Meridian ArtsFestival in Bucharest, Roulette, Galapagos Art Space, WOW Cafe
Theatre, highSCORE Festival, and other respected venues across the United States and internationally. Her first string quartet, Limbic Breath, has been released on PARMA Records.
Marie is the conductor and band-leader of the Green Monster Big Band (Fred Ho’s premiere big band) and the Eco-Music Band (a smaller, variable ensemble), both ensembles for which she also composes and arranges. She has conducted as a band-leader as well as in classical and operatic settings at Brooklyn Academy of Music, WOW Cafe, Red Rooster Harlem, BarnArts Center for theArts, and others. Marie conducted the Green Monster Big Band for Fred Ho’s final album, which has an international release date for later in 2015. Marie was Fred Ho’s last composition and conducting protege.
BENJAMIN GROW | Conductor
Conductor and multifaceted musician Benjamin Grow is active in many different areas of the musical world. He has conducted a wide array of new music ensembles in New York, including the Con Vivo Ensemble, Our Silent Canvas, and Red Light New Music. He has also conducted several recording sessions at The Juilliard School and the recording of I Have No Stories To Tell You, a new opera by Opera Philadelphia’s Composer-in-Residence, Lembit Beecher. In 2012, he conducted Beecher’s oratorio, And Then I Remember, in “an expert performance” (WKCR) at the DiMenna Center.
As a trumpeter, he has performed throughout the U.S., Mexico, Panama, and the West Bank; his interest in early music has led him to performances on cornetto, harpsichord, and as a singer with both period and modern ensembles in New York, Montreal, and Houston. His arrangements and compositions have been performed by the Caravel Quartet, the Toomai Quintet, DZ4 woodwind quartet, Ensemble Counterpoint, and the Strangetet. He wrote music that was featured in a video for Michter’s Whiskey when they won Distiller of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2012.
A dedicated music educator, Mr. Grow was the founding conductor of the 92nd St. Y Youth Orchestra and currently conducts the chamber orchestra at the School for Strings, where he is also a music theory instructor. For several years, Mr. Grow co-presented an annual lecture at the 92nd St. Y, “The Physics of Music,” as part of their Mysteries of Science series, and has given pre-concert talks at the Museum of Biblical Art. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at Rice University and currently studies with Jeffrey Milarsky at the Manhattan School of Music.
ALEXANDRA JOAN | Piano
Praised for her vibrant interpretations, the French-Romanian pianist Alexandra Joan is an active soloist and sought-after chamber player who performs extensively in Europe and in the United States. She has appeared at major venues and festivals in Europe, Israel, and the United States, including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Bargemusic, The Greene Space, La Roque d’Anthéron Festival, Colmar International Festival, and Tel Hai.
She has been a soloist with the “Follia” Chamber Orchestra, the Mulhouse and Montbeliard Symphony Orchestras in France, and the Montenegro Symphony Orchestra. She is a recipient of the “Vocation” Award in France and has won prizes at the Andorra International Competition, the Arriaga Chamber Music Competition in 2010 (First Prize), and the 2013 Josef Suk International Competition in Prague (Second Prize). Her recital and chamber music performances have been featured on Radio France, Radio Suisse Romande, Arte TV, and WQXR in New York.
For three consecutive seasons, Alexandra successfully curated “Kaleidoscope,” a concert series at the WMP Concert Hall in New York, exploring diverse musical themes and bringing different forms of art together.
Alexandra received degrees from the Paris Conservatory and the Juilliard School. Her principal teachers include Rena Shereshevskaya, Brigitte Engerer, and Jerome Lowenthal.
Her first CD “Dances and Songs” was released in October 2014 on the Victor Elmaleh Collection.
CRISTA KENDE | Viola
Crista Kende is a Manhattan based professional violist, performing with various orchestral, chamber and contemporary ensembles including the Princeton Symphony, The Arcos Chamber Orchestra, The New York Opera Society, Blind Ear Music, The Moirae Ensemble, and the Metropolis Ensemble. Crista graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History from Princeton University in 2007.
Crista was a principal with The Verbier Festival Orchestra for three seasons and now serves on the Verbier American Friends Committee. Crista has been featured on recordings for Sony Mexico, WNET 13 and AMC television. Crista received her Masters in Music Performance from The Juilliard School in 2010.
Crista currently serves as artistic advisor to the World Youth Alliance Chamber Orchestra, and in 2011 she founded the violin program at the New York World Class Learning Academy. In addition to her performance schedule, Crista works for Indiegogo.
TIMONTHY McDEVITT | Baritone
American baritone, Timothy McDevitt, has established himself among the industry’s most versatile young performers today. His sophisticated portrayals of new and obscure works have been widely praised by the NY Times, NPR, Opera News, and Le Monde. This season finds his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Bernstein’s Mass, his off Broadway debut in Lady be Good at NY City Center Encores!, the world premiere of Marie Incontrea’s new song cycle “Do Not Harm” with the Moirae Ensemble, concerts with the American Classical Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, and his return to Colorado’s Central City Opera in La Traviata (Marchese) and Man of La Mancha (Pedro).
Highlights from last season include three separate appearances at Carnegie Hall; Guys and Dolls with the Orchestra of St Luke’s, the NYFOS Gala honoring Leonard Bernstein, and Reynaldo Moya’s Generalissimo with the AZLO Orchestra. Also that season; Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with Heartbeat Opera, the Born for Broadway Cabaret at 54 Below, premieres of new works by Andrew Maxfield for the James Beard Foundation Awards and the Roosevelt Four Freedom Awards, and his debut in Bruxelles at La Monnaie de Munt singing Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tireseas, a role he has also performed at the Festival d’Aix en Provence, Central City Opera, and the Juilliard Opera. Mr. McDevitt can be heard on the 2014 studio cast album of Jerome Kern’s Roberta, recorded with the Orchestra of Ireland and released through New World Records.
Timothy has been recognized as a New York District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera Competition, a finalist in the Competizione dell’Opera at the Bolshoi in Moscow, the Lys Symonette Prize winner of the Lotte Lenya Competition, and twice as a finalist for the Atelier Lyrique at the Paris Opera Bastille.
A native of Reading Pennsylvania, Mr. McDevitt holds both his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Music from The Juilliard School.
SOFIA NOWICK | Cello
Cellist Sofia Nowik is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School where she received both her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees, studying with David Soyer, Bonnie Hampton, and Darrett Adkins. Sofia served for five years as one of the principal cellists of the Juilliard Orchestra.
During her graduate studies Sofia worked for the Juilliard Pre-College Division as both a chamber music and orchestral mentor, coaching individual chamber groups and leading string sectionals. She now continues her educational outreach teaching cello in New York City with Opportunity Music Project, a non-profit music mentoring program, which offers full tuition scholarship for private instrumental lessons, chamber and orchestral training to kids from families who would otherwise be unable to afford the costs of a music education. She is on the faculty at the Great Neck Music Conservatory in Long Island, and maintains a small private teaching studio.
Sofia has participated as an orchestral fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center for the past two summers, and was the recipient of the 2013 Samuel Mayes Memorial Cello award. An active freelance musician in the New York and New Jersey Area, Sofia enjoys a diverse career as a chamber, orchestral, and studio musician. She recently joined the roster of the Shuffle Concert Ensemble, the Exponential Ensemble, and has performed as principal cellist with the Arcos Chamber Orchestra, the Arco Ensemble, and is a substitute cellist for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C, and the New World Symphony. As a soloist she has performed concerti with local orchestras in New Jersey, including the Livingston Symphony, Manalapan Symphony, The Tim Keyes Consort, Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Youth Orchestra, and the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra in New York City.
As a chamber musician, Sofia has worked with many different ensembles. She is an alumna of the Fontainebleau American School Summer music program, a four week program dedicated to the study and performance of French chamber music. She has also twice participated in the String Quartet Intensive at the Tanglewood Music Center. She most recently joined the chamber ensemble, SHUFFLE Concert, a young and dynamic mixed ensemble that changes the format of traditional performance practice and allows the audience members to choose what they want to hear from a program comprised of over 10 different genres.