Karen Goldfeder has sung repertoire from Gershwin to Penderecki to Machaud to Joni Mitchell with ensembles ranging from Musica Sacra to The Screaming Headless Torsos to her own band Magpie. Jazz, folk, oratorio, new music, free improvisation, early music, South Indian music, opera, musical theatre, and R&B have all shaped her musical perspective. She works with Bobby McFerrin and his management team to bring Bobby's approach to ensemble singing all over the world, and she serves as the program and curriculum coordinator for the Circlesongs workshop.
Goldfeder has performed, toured, and recorded with New York Virtuoso Singers, Voices of Ascension, New York Treble Singers, the Bard Festival Chorale, and the Gregg Smith Singers (among many others). Her contemporary opera credits include John Adam’s Death of Kinghoffer at Brooklyn Academy of Music and Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiell at Merkin Hall with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. Solo appearances include the Monteverdi Vespers of 16010, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, the Stravinsky Mass, and the Pergolesi Stabat Mater. Her jazz resume includes appearances with Jay Clayton, Julian Priester, Muhal Richard Abrams, and more, as well as performing with her own band at festivals including Vancouver Jazz, Bumbershoot in Seattle, and the Edinburgh Fringe.
Goldfeder's compositions and arrangements have been performed by the New York Treble Singers, C4, the Marble Collegiate Church Sanctuary Choir, the Choir of St. Francis of Assisi, The Great Neck Choral Society, Kiitos: a vocal quartet, the Magpie Ensemble, The Gregg Smith Singers, and The Todd Reynolds String Quartet. Her string quartet Flight serves as a score and narrator for Melissa Hacker's award winning short film Letters Home.
As a working professional ensemble singer specializing in contemporary and early music, a long-time member of Jay Clayton's improvising vocal ensemble "Different Voices," Karen Goldfeder has had an unusual opportunity to experience a variety of vocal ensemble techniques and practices. Her recent tour as ensemble member and coleader of the Bobby McFerrin: Vocabularies choral repertoire project brought new inspiration for the integration of it all: improvised and through-composed music, education and impulse, preparation and surprise.