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 120 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. 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, Montana. The Crossing has issued 25 albums, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and six Grammy nominations. The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artist Management. All of its concerts are broadcast on WRTI, Philadelphia’s Classical and Jazz public radio station.

 

Photo (above): Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble with The Crossing and soloist Dalal Abu Amneh, 2015. Photo: Chip Colson

 

www.crossingchoir.org

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

Rooted in Arab arts and language, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture offers artistic and educational programming that enriches cross-cultural understanding and celebrates diversity. “Al-Bustan,” Arabic for “The Garden,” serves youth and adults of all ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds, while supporting the pursuit and affirmation of Arab American cultural identity and playing a constructive civic role within broader American society. www.albustanseeds.org

 

Dalal Abu-Amneh

Dalal Abu-Amneh is a singer, producer, neuroscientist, and a mother of two. Born in Nazareth in 1983, Abu-Amneh has been fascinated by both science and music since being a little child. Abu-Amneh has gained fame and praise for her ability to perform a wide variety of different musical styles, while crafting a global Palestinian identity through her music. Abu-Amneh also produced all of her musical projects including her three albums: An Balady, Ya Sitti, and Nur. She emphasizes the value of musical heritage and glorifies the role of old women in preserving folklore through integrating them into her musical projects. Photo credit: Chip Colson

 

Kareem Roustom

Syrian-American Kareem Roustom is an Emmy-nominated composer whose genre crossing collaborations include music commissioned by conductor Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as projects with pop icons Shakira and Tina Turner, and with acclaimed British choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh. Known for his orchestral works, Roustom’s music has been performed by ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Boulez Ensemble, the Deutsch Oper Berlin, The Crossing, the Kronos Quartet, Lorelei Ensemble, A Far Cry, and at renowned festivals and halls such as the BBC Proms, the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Verbier Festival, the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. He has been composer-in-residence at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming, and with the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen in Germany. Roustom’s music has also been recorded by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester (Berlin), and the Philharmonia Orchestra (London). Current commissions include a large-scale orchestral work for the Malmö Symphony Orchestra (Sweden), and a trumpet concerto for the Düsseldorfer Symphonkier. . Photo credit: John Robson

Kinan Abou-Afach

Kinan Abou-Afach is a cellist, oud player, composer, and recipient of the Pew Fellowship in 2013. The Syrian-born musician began his musical studies at the age of seven studying at the Arabic Institute of Music in Damascus, where he eventually joined the National Syrian Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Middle Eastern Ensemble. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in cello and oud performance from the Higher Institute of Music where he studied with Fayez Zahril-Din, Rasi Abdullaiev, and Valery Volkov. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from DePaul University where he studied with Stephen Balderston.

 

Abou-afach composes music that is saturated with unique scales, rhythmic grooves, and improvisation-esque progressions. He works on creating a sound that is based loosely on the Arabic modal traditions known as maqam, while using elements from the western traditions (classical, jazz, electronic, musique concrète). He has composed for concert, film, live theater, and live visual art including notable commissions performed by Grammy Award-winners Jason Vieaux and The Crossing; The Long Night, a film directed by Hatem Ali; Haunted by Liwaa Yazigi for Windy Clinard Dance Theater Jondo Portraits; and the 2014 film Maskoon. Recent works also include Nomads for Cello and String Quartet, Exodus for Brass Sextet, Munajat for SATB and cello, and Speak for Orchestra.

 

Abou-afach has performed as a soloist and ensemble musician throughout the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America with musicians and ensembles such as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Youssou N’dour, Concertante de Chicago, and the Ducati Piano Trio as well as conductors and soloists including Solhi Al-Wady, Daniel Barenboim, Cliff Colnot, Roberto Abbado, Sir Andrew Davis, Pinchas Zuckerman, and soloists like Yo-Yo Ma, Alex Klein, and Larry Combs.

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 100 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. He 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 Nally 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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