photography Becky Oehlers

the crossing

The Crossing is a Grammy-winning 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 110 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.


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, Beth Morrison Projects, Allora & Calzadilla, Bang on a Can, Klockriketeatern, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of world’s most prestigious venues and presenters, such as the Park Avenue Armory, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, National Sawdust, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Haarlem Choral Biennale in The Netherlands, The Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, The Kennedy Center in Washington, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, 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 MT where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison.


With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 22 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and six Grammy nominations. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forum’s 2017 Champion of New Music. They were the recipients of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, and the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America.


Recently, The Crossing has expanded its choral presentation to film, working with Four/Ten Media, in-house sound designer Paul Vazquez of Digital Mission Audio Services, visual artists Brett Snodgrass and Steven Bradshaw, and composers David Lang and Michael Gordon on live and animated versions of new and existing works. Lang’s protect yourself from infection and in nature were specifically designed to be performed within the restrictions imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic.


The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artist Management. All of its concerts are broadcast on WRTI, Philadelphia’s Classical and Jazz public radio station.

Gavin Bryars

Gavin Bryars (b. 1943) studied philosophy but became a jazz bassist and pioneer of free improvisation with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. Early iconic pieces The Sinking of the Titanic and Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet achieved great popular success. Works include five operas, a large body of chamber music, several concertos and much vocal music including 6 books of madrigals - performers include The Hilliard Ensemble, Trio Mediaeval, Red Byrd, Latvian Radio Choir, Estonian National Male Choir, Iarla O'Lionaird, Singer Pur, and The Crossing, whose recording of The Fifth Century was awarded a Grammy. He has collaborated widely with visual artists (Juan Muñoz, Bruce McLean), choreographers (William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, Edouard Lock, David Dawson, Carolyn Carlson), theatre directors (Robert Wilson, Atom Egoyan), as well as writing music for the films of his wife Anna Tchernakova. He has also worked with non-classical performers such as Charlie Haden, Bill Frisell, Tom Waits, Natalie Merchant, Gavin Friday, Father John Misty, Bertrand Belin, and Mocke. Since 1986 he has performed internationally and recorded with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, his preferred performers. A French book on his work, Gavin Bryars, en paroles et musique, appeared in 2020 and a second book is due for publication in England in April 2021. He lives in a Leicestershire village and on Vancouver Island. He is a Transcendent Satrap and a Regent of the Collège de ’Pataphysique and has made many recordings – for ECM, Point, Philips, Naxos, Decca, and his own label GB Records.


Photo courtesy of Gavin Bryars

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. Nally 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. Nally has commissioned over 130 works and, with The Crossing, has produced 24 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. Nally 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 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 for the New York Philharmonic for world premieres by Lang and Julia Wolfe.

photo: Becky Oehlers Photography

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