photography Becky Oehlers

the crossing

The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally, is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing, singing, and listening to choral music. Many of its nearly 100 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.


The Crossing has collaborated with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Beth Morrison Projects, Allora & Calzadilla, Bang on a Can, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). The group has appeared at the Park Avenue Armory, National Sawdust, Lincoln Center, Disney Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Philadelphia Art Museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Haarlem Choral Biennale in The Netherlands, the Finnish National Opera, The Kennedy Center, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, Peak Performances, Winter Garden with WNYC, and Duke, Northwestern, Colgate, and Notre Dame Universities. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana. The ensemble has issued 20 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forum’s 2017 Champion of New Music. They have received the Margaret Hillis Award, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, and the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America.

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.

photo: Becky Oehlers Photography

James Primosch

When honoring him with its Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters noted that “A rare economy of means and a strain of religious mysticism distinguish the music of James Primosch… Through articulate, transparent textures, he creates a wide range of musical emotion.”


Primosch’s compositional voice encompasses a broad range of expressive types. His music can be intensely lyrical, as in the song cycle Holy the Firm (composed for Dawn Upshaw) or dazzlingly angular as in Secret Geometry for piano and electronic sound. His affection for jazz is reflected in works like the Piano Quintet, while his work as a church musician informs the many pieces in his catalog based on sacred songs or religious texts. Primosch’s instrumental, vocal, and electronic works have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe by such ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Collage, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the 21st Century Consort.


Among the honors he has received are a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three prizes from the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters, a Regional Artists Fellowship to the American Academy in Rome, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, the Stoeger Prize of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center where he studied with John Harbison. Recordings of 25 compositions by Primosch have appeared on the Albany, Azica, Bard, Bridge, CRI, Centaur, Innova, and New World labels.


Born in Cleveland OH in 1956, James Primosch studied at Cleveland State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University.  He counts Mario Davidovsky, George Crumb, and Richard Wernick among his principal teachers. Since 1988, he has served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania.

photo: Deborah Boardman


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Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.

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