The Crossing is a professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. Consistently recognized in critical reviews, The Crossing has been hailed as “superb” (The New York Times, 7/15), “ardently angelic” (Los Angeles Times, 4/14), and “something of a miracle” (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/14). Formed by a group of friends in 2005, the ensemble has since grown exponentially and “has made a name for itself in recent years as a champion of new music” (The New York Times, 2/14).
Highly sought-after for collaborative projects, The Crossing’s first collaboration was as the resident choir of the Spoleto Festival, Italy, in 2007. Collaborations are now an important aspect of their work; The Crossing has appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University in the American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); joined Bang on a Can’s first Philadelphia Marathon; and has sung with the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, red fish blue fish, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, Dolce Suono, and The Rolling Stones. The ensemble has sung at Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They premiered John Luther Adams’ Sila: the breath of the world at Lincoln Center in a collaboration with the Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, eighth blackbird, Jack Quartet, and TILT brass. The 2014-15 season featured a major collaborative project with The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, conceived by Allora & Calzadilla, with a new score by David Lang.
The Crossing commissions works regularly and has presented over sixty world premieres. The 2016-17 season will feature substantial contributions from Lansing McLoskey, Gregory W. Brown, Joshua Stamper, Stratis Minakakis, Dai Fujikura, and Bang on a Can's Michael Gordon. Major commissioned world premieres have included 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), Kile Smith’s The Consolation of Apollo (2014) and Vespers (2008, a commission of Piffaro), David Lang’s Statement to the Court (2010), Lewis Spratlan’s Hesperus is Phosphorus (2012, co-commissioned with Network for New Music), and Ted Hearne’s Sound From the Bench (2014, co-commissioned with Volti). In 2015, The Crossing presented Seven Responses - seven of the world's foremost composers presented contemporary responses to Buxtehude's Membra Jesu nostri.
With a commitment to record those commissions, The Crossing is releasing five CDs during the 2016-17 season. Their collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century, was named one of The Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Classical CDs of the 2016 and their recording of Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer was nominated for the 2017 GRAMMY as Best Choral Performance. In March of 2017 they released Sound from the Bench, featuring works of Ted Hearne. Previously released recordings include Lewis Spratlan’s Vespers Cantata: Hesperus is Phosphorus (on Innova, 2015, with Network for New Music); Moonstrung Air (choral music of Gregory Brown, on Navona, 2015); Christmas Daybreak (on Innova, 2011, with world premiere recordings of James MacMillan and Gabriel Jackson); I want to live (on Innova, 2011, with the complete to-date choral works for women by David Lang); and It is Time (on Navona, 2008, featuring music commissioned for our first Month of Moderns). Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century is due to be released on ECM records in the coming year.
The Crossing is the recipient of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, two 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 2012 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal for his work with The Crossing. The Crossing has been named in The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Top Classical Events of the Season numerous times; a July 2015 review in that journal led with the headline, “The event of the season.”