the crossing

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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 nearly ninety commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued sixteen releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and three Grammy nominations in as many years.

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COLLABORATING

The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles, Philharmonic, 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, The Rolling Stones, and the International Contemporary Ensemble, with whom they have appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University in the American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers, Peak Performances at Montclair State University, The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.  The Crossing joined Bang on a Can for its first Philadelphia Marathon.

Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of world’s most prestigious venues and presenters, such as the Park Avenue Armory, Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, 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, Haarlem Choral Biennale in The Netherlands, The Kennedy Center in Washington, Philadelphia Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Delaware Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, Winter Garden with WNYC, and Duke, Northwestern, Rowan, Salisbury, Colgate, and Notre Dame Universities.   In 2014 they premiered John Luther Adams’ Sila: the breath of the world at Lincoln Center with Jack Quartet and eighth blackbird.

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 2019-2020 season The Crossing will return to Carnegie Hall and make debuts at The Met Cloisters in New York, The Mann Center in Philadelphia, and the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki. .

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INSPIRING

The Crossing has presented nearly ninety commissioned world premieres. Major new works 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), Benjamin C.S. Boyle’s Voyages (2018), Gregory Spears’ The Tower and the Garden (2018), 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), from Ted Hearne’s Sound From the Bench (2014, co-commissioned with Volti) and Animals (2018, co-commissioned with the Park Avenue Armory), and, from Kile Smith, The Arc in the Sky (2018), The Consolation of Apollo (2014), The Waking Sun (2011), Vespers (2008, a commission of Piffaro).  In 2019, the women of The Crossing collaborated with The New York Philharmonic on the world premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Fire in My Mouth.

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 presented 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 Edie Hill, Tawnie Olson, Daniel Felsenfeld, Tawnie Olson, Harold Meltzer, Stacy Garrop, Jacob Cooper, David Shapiro, Aaron Helgeson, Martin Bresnick, Caroline Shaw, Gabriel Kahane, and Marcos Balter. 

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RECORDING

With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued sixteen 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. 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 the last ten years, they have produced recordings covering a wide range of styles: The Arc in the Sky (Navona, 2019); Evolutionary Spirits, music of Edie Hill, Jonathan Sheffer, Christopher Hoh, Bruce Babcock (Navona, 2019); If There Were Water (Innova, 2018), featuring works by Gregory W. Brown and Stratis Minakakis; Clay Jug: music of Edie Hill (Navona, 2017); Ted Hearne’s Sound from the Bench (Cantaloupe, 2017); John Luther Adams’ Cantles of the Holy Wind (Cantaloupe, 2017); Word Adorned: Andalusian Poetry and Music (Al-Bustan, 2015, music of Kareem Roustom and Kinan Abou-Afach, with Dalai Abu Amneh and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble); 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). The Crossing’s first recording was a collaboration with Piffaro, The Renaissance Band: Kile Smith’s Vespers (Navona, 2009).

The Crossing’s recordings have been reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Opera News, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gramophone, Fanfare, The Chicago Tribune, and many other journals.  

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RECOGNITION

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 and have received 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.