Donald Nally

Donald Nally conducts The Crossing, the internationally acclaimed, GRAMMY Award-winning professional choir that commissions, premieres, and records only new music. He holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music at Northwestern University where he is director of choral organizations. Donald has served as chorus master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has commissioned over 120 works and, with The Crossing, has produced 20 recordings, winning two GRAMMY Awards.

He was the American Composers Forum 2017 Champion of New Music and received the 2017 Michael Korn Founders Award from Chorus America; his ensembles have twice received the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music. Donald has worked closely with the artists Allora & Calzadilla and composer David Lang on projects in London, Osaka, Cleveland, Edmonton, Houston, and Philadelphia.  In recent seasons he has been a visiting resident artist at the Park Avenue Armory, music director for the world premiere of Lang’s The Mile-Long Opera – directing 1000 voices on the High Line in Manhattan – as well as chorus master at the New York Philharmonic for world premieres by Lang and Julia Wolfe.

Albums

Words Adorned

Release Date: July 9, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6356
21st Century
Vocal Music
Voice
The Grammy-winning professional chamber choir The Crossing, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, and Navona Records present WORDS ADORNED. Conducted by Donald Nally, with Takht musical direction by Hanna Khoury, the combined forces interpret lush scores from Kinan Abou-afach and Kareem Roustom; the music is at times driven and passionate, at others mystical and lyrical, responding to ancient Andalusian poetry in the Muwashshah tradition. The takht – masterfully handling the oud, qanun, violin, cello, and percussion – guides the kaleidoscopic sounds and colors in these poems of love, revelry, and war, with additional solo work by the virtuosic singer Dalal Abu Amneh. True to their commitment to honor tradition while constantly blazing new ground, The Crossing’s latest offering is steeped in history, deeply relevant to modern listeners, and bridges cultures seamlessly.
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A Native Hill

Release Date: April 9, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6347
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
Navona Records presents A NATIVE HILL from Philadelphia’s professional chamber choir, The Crossing. This monumental unaccompanied work is the result of a collaboration with composer Gavin Bryars, whose previous work for The Crossing won them their first of two recent Grammy awards. With intimate knowledge of the individual voices and art of each singer, Bryars composed A NATIVE HILL to capitalize on the group’s unique sound, personality, and esprit de corps.
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The Tower and the Garden

Release Date: February 12, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6303
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
On THE TOWER AND THE GARDEN, the multi-GRAMMY winning choir The Crossing and conductor Donald Nally ponder the fragility of the earth, the awe of nature, and the power of language to unite, or divide, society.
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Carthage

Release Date: May 22, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6287
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
GRAMMY-winning chamber choir The Crossing is back with their latest installment in a multi-album series with Navona Records. CARTHAGE comes on the heels of the 2020 GRAMMY-nominated album THE ARC IN THE SKY, released last summer. In this latest offering, artistic director Donald Nally leads the choir through six striking pieces by composer James Primosch that confront the most elemental questions of Western philosophy.
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The Arc in the Sky

Release Date: July 12, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6240
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
Multiple Grammy Award-winning chamber choir The Crossing moves listeners with their new release THE ARC IN THE SKY, a breathtaking performance of the eponymous work by accomplished choral composer Kile Smith. Based on texts by Robert Lax (1915–2000), it constitutes an American pilgrimage into spirituality.
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Evolutionary Spirits

Release Date: June 28, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6218
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
EVOLUTIONARY SPIRITS brings together the artistry of Grammy Award-winning chamber choir The Crossing with innovative works of six contemporary composers. Ranging from songs of praise from the Biblical era to present day, and from contemporary poetry to the reimagining of a Shakespearean sonnet, EVOLUTIONARY SPIRITS explores humanity in all its facets.
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Clay Jug

Release Date: February 10, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6073
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
The choral music of Minnesota-based composer Edie Hill shines on CLAY JUG, a compendium of large and small works for a cappella choir and choir accompanied by chamber ensemble. Though the works featured on CLAY JUG vary in scope, they all demonstrate Hill’s keen sensitivity to ensemble texture and harmonic density, as well as the incorporation of text across four languages.
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Moonstrung Air

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Catalog Number: NV5989
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
The human voice: A forceful yet delicate instrument. The weight of its expression can be as heavy as a ringing bell or as light as the whisper of an autumn breeze. Composer Gregory W. Brown presents a collection of his vocal and choral works on the Navona Records release MOONSTRUNG AIR, capturing the wonder of the human voice as our rooted connection with nature.
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It Is Time

Release Date: March 1, 2011
Catalog Number: NV5845
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
IT IS TIME features the compositions of David Shapiro, Kile Smith, Paul Fowler, Frank Havroy, Erhard Karkoschka and Kristen Broberg based on the German-language poetry of Romanian poet Paul Celan. Celan's words are largely open to interpretation and lend themselves to musical adaptations; the composers on this disc adapt the words well, and vocal ensemble The Crossing, under conductor Donald Nally, performs them beautifully.
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Fine Music, Vol. 1

Release Date: February 1, 2011
Catalog Number: NV5841
21st Century
Orchestral
Solo Instrumental
Choir
Clarinet
String Orchestra
Navona's FINE MUSIC, VOLUME 1 is the first in a series of fine selections from Navona Records. This digital release features Grammy-winner Richard Stoltzman, Pulitzer Prize-winner Lewis Spratlan, Pixar/Randy Newman orchestrator Jonathan Sacks, and New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow. This collection both highlights some of Navona's choicest tracks and offers a preview of things to come.
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Vespers

Release Date: April 1, 2009
Catalog Number: NV5809
Renaissance
Chamber
Liturgical
Vocal Music
Choir
Chicago's best-known early music ensemble The Newberry Consort exhilarates with VESPERS, a collection of dazzlingly original music for women’s voices. The composer? A mysterious early-17th-century Mexican named Juan de Lienas, whose style energetically oscillates between Renaissance and Baroque elements.
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