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The Crossing Nominated for Four 2020 Grammy Awards

November 20, 2019 | By Katy Salomon
Account Director, Morahan Arts and Media


Contact: Katy Salomon | Morahan Arts and Media | 863.660.2214

The Crossing Nominated for Two 2020 Grammy Awards
and Featured on Two Additional Nominated Albums

Best Choral Performance
Robert Convery and Benjamin Boyle: Voyages (August 2019, Innova)
Kile Smith: The Arc in the Sky (July 2019, Navona)

Best Engineered Album Classical
Julia Wolfe: Fire in my mouth (August 2019, Decca Gold)

Best Contemporary Classical Composition
Julia Wolfe: Fire in my mouth (August 2019, Decca Gold)

“America’s most astonishing choir.” – The New York Times


Philadelphia, PA (November 20, 2019) — Two-time Grammy-winning new-music choir The Crossing has been nominated for four 2020 Grammy Awards.

The Crossing is nominated in the Best Choral Performance category for the third year in a row for two album releases: Voyages (August 2019, Innova), featuring two settings of Hart Crane’s masterpiece cycle of poems of the same name composed by Robert Convery and Benjamin C.S. Boyle, and The Arc in the Sky (July 2019, Navona), featuring Kile Smith’s epic work for unaccompanied choir based on the writings of Robert Lax. The works of Smith and Boyle were commissioned for The Crossing, while Convery’s settings were commissioned by its conductor Donald Nally. Boyle’s work features string ensemble led by Rebecca Harris.

Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth (August 2019, Decca Gold), recorded with the New York Philharmonic led by Jaap van Zweden and the Young People's Chorus Of New York City led by Francisco J. Núñez, is nominated for Best Engineered Album, Classical for the work of engineers Bob Hanlon and Lawrence Rock and mastering engineers Ian Good and Lawrence Rock. The album is also nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. 36 women of The Crossing (Donald Nally, conductor) comprised the choral ensemble for the work’s world premiere in January 2019 at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. The New York Times called the work “ambitious, heartfelt, often compelling... There is both heady optimism and a sense of dread in Ms. Wolfe’s music... Mr. van Zweden led a commanding account of a score that... ends with an elegiac final chorus in which the names of all 146 victims are tenderly sung to create a fabric of music and memory.” Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth is a reflection on the New York garment industry at the turn of the 20th century through a focus on the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that killed 146 garment workers, most of them young immigrants. 

About The Crossing
The Crossing is a 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 nearly 90 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 19 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations in four years.

The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, the Annenberg Center, Beth Morrison Projects, Dolce Suono, Allora & Calzadilla, Pig Iron Theatre Company, The Rolling Stones, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom they have appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University in the American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers, Peak Performances at Montclair State University, The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the National Gallery in Washington D.C., and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. The Crossing joined Bang on a Can for its first Philadelphia Marathon. Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of the world’s most prestigious venues and presenters, such as the Park Avenue Armory, the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, National Sawdust, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Haarlem Choral Bienalle in The Netherlands, The Kennedy Center in Washington, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Delaware Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, the WNYC Winter Garden, and Duke, Northwestern, Rowan, Salisbury, Colgate, and Notre Dame Universities. In 2014, they premiered John Luther Adams’ Sila: the breath of the world at Lincoln Center with Jack Quartet and eighth blackbird. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on WRTI 90.1FM, Philadelphia’s Classical and Jazz Public Radio. In the 2019-2020 season The Crossing will return to Carnegie Hall and make debuts at The Met Cloisters in New York, The Mann Center in Philadelphia, and the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki.

The Crossing has presented nearly 90 commissioned world premieres. Major new works have include Michael Gordon’s Anonymous Man (2017), Michael Gilbertson’s Born (2017), Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Ad genua (2016), Lansing McLoskey’s Zealot Canticles (2017), Caroline Shaw’s To the Hands (2016), 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), Stratis Minakakis’ Crossings Cycle (2015/2017), Gregory Spears’ The Tower and the Garden (2019), Gregory Brown’s un/bodying/s (2017), David Lang’s statement to the court (2010), Lewis Spratlan’s Hesperus is Phosphorus (2012, co-commissioned with Network for New Music), from Ted Hearne’s Sound From the Bench (2014, co-commissioned with Volti) and Animals (2018, co-commissioned with the Park Avenue Armory), and, from Kile Smith, The Arc in the Sky (2018), The Consolation of Apollo (2014), The Waking Sun (2011), and Vespers (2008, a commission of Piffaro). In 2019, the women of The Crossing collaborated with the New York Philharmonic on the world premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth. In 2016, The Crossing presented Seven Responses with new works including those of David T. Little, Hans Thomalla, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and Santa Ratniece. That same year, The Crossing commissioned and presented Jeff Quartets, a rare compilation of quartets from fifteen of the world’s leading composers, presented as a concert-length set and collected in an omnibus edition. In June 2019, The Crossing presented its largest project to date, Aniara: fragments of time and space, a collaboration with Klockriketeatern in Helsinki, and composer Robert Maggio. Future projects include composers Edie Hill, Tawnie Olson, Daniel Felsenfeld, Tawnie Olson, Harold Meltzer, Stacy Garrop, Jacob Cooper, David Shapiro, Aaron Helgeson, Martin Bresnick, Caroline Shaw, Gabriel Kahane, and Marcos Balter.

With a commitment to recording their commissions, The Crossing has fifteen commercially-released recordings, two Grammy Awards, and three nominations. Their collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), was the winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance and named one of The Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Classical CDs of the 2016. Lansing McLoskey's Zealot Canticles won the 2019 Grammy and Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy, both as Best Choral Performance.

The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums’ 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing’s 2014 commission Sound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. They were the recipient of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, as well as the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award (with composer Joel Puckett) from Chorus America. 

Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing, also serves as the John W. Beattie Chair of Music at Northwestern University, where he is director of choral organizations. He has worked extensively with the artists Allora & Calzadilla and composer David Lang on projects in London, Osaka, Cleveland, Edmonton, and Houston. Donald has been chorus master for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and for many years, the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. 

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*Image at top of release by Kevin Vondrak

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