The Crossing is a professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its over eighty commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.
Highly sought-after for collaborative projects, The Crossing’s first collaboration was as the resident choir of the Spoleto Festival, Italy, in 2007. The Crossing has appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University with the International Contemporary Ensemble, with whom they have appeared at The Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. They joined Bang on a Can for its first Philadelphia Marathon; and have sung with the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, Annenberg Center Live, Beth Morrison Projects, Dolce Suono, Allora & Calzadilla, Pig Iron Theatre Company and The Rolling Stones.
The Crossing has sung at such venues as National Sawdust, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, The Kennedy Center in Washington, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Northwestern University, Colgate University, and the Winter Garden in New York with WNYC. In 2014 they premiered John Luther Adams’ Sila: the breath of the world at Lincoln Center. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on WRTI 90.1FM, Philadelphia’s Classical and Jazz Public Radio.
In the 2018-19 season they will make their debut at the New York Philharmonic, Park Avenue Armory, and Peak Performances at Montclair State University.
The Crossing has presented over seventy commissioned world premieres. Major new works have include Michael Gordon’s Anonymous Man (2017), Michael Gilbertson’s Born (2017), Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Ad genua (2016), Lansing McLoskey’s Zealot Canticles (2017), Caroline Shaw’s To the Hands (2016), John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Holy Wind (2013, co-commissioned with Kamer), Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (2014, written for The Crossing and PRISM), Stratis Minakakis’ Crossings Cycle (2015/2017), Gregory Brown’s un/bodying/s (2017), David Lang’s statement to the court (2010), Lewis Spratlan’s Hesperus is Phosphorus (2012, co-commissioned with Network for New Music), Ted Hearne’s Sound From the Bench (2014, co-commissioned with Volti) and, from Kile Smith, The Arc in the Sky (2018), The Consolation of Apollo (2014), The Waking Sun (2011), and Vespers (2008, a commission of Piffaro).
In 2016, The Crossing presented Seven Responses with new works including those of David T. Little, Hans Thomalla, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and Santa Ratniece. That same year, The Crossing commissioned and presented Jeff Quartets, a rare compilation of quartets from fifteen of the world’s leading composers, presented as a concert-length set and collected in an omnibus edition. In June 2019, The Crossing will present its largest project to date - Aniara: fragments of time and space, a collaboration with Klockriketeatern in Helsinki, and composer Robert Maggio.
Future projects include composers Julia Wolfe, Toivo Tulev, Edie Hill, Daniel Felsenfeld, Gregory Spears, Tawnie Olson, James Primosch, Stacy Garrop, Jacob Cooper, and Aaron Helgeson.
With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 15 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and three Grammy nominations in as many years.
Their collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), was the winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance, and named one of The Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Classical CDs of the 2016, and their 2018 recording of Lansing McLoskey’s Zealot Canticles (Innova) was awarded the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. Their recording of Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance.
In February 2018 they released If There Were Water (Innova), featuring new works by Gregory W. Brown and Stratis Minakakis. In February 2017 they released Clay Jug: music of Edie Hill (Navona), followed by Ted Hearne’s Sound from the Bench in March (Cantaloupe) and John Luther Adams’ Cantles of the Holy Wind in May (Cantaloupe). Previously released recordings include Lewis Spratlan’s Vespers Cantata: Hesperus is Phosphorus (Innova, 2015, with Network for New Music); Moonstrung Air (choral music of Gregory Brown, Navona, 2015); Christmas Daybreak (Innova, 2011, with world premiere recordings of James MacMillan and Gabriel Jackson); I want to live (Innova, 2011, with the complete to-date choral works for women by David Lang); and It is Time (Navona, 2008, featuring music commissioned for our first Month of Moderns).
Their recordings have been reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Opera News, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gramophone, Fanfare, and many more journals.
The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums’ 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing’s 2014 commission Sound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. They were the recipient of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, as well as the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award (with composer Joel Puckett) from Chorus America.
Donald Nally was awarded the 2017 Michael Korn Award and the 2012 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal for his work with The Crossing.