• Founded 2005
Often appears with
The Crossing is a relatively young American ensemble, about 35 singers strong, that has gained unusually wide critical acclaim while specializing in contemporary music and bringing a broad variety of new music to the repertory via commissions. The choir was founded in 2005 by a group of friends who included veteran choral director Donald Nally, who had served as artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia and as chorus master of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. (A co-founder, Jeffrey Dinsmore, died suddenly during a rehearsal in 2014.) The new group quickly gained a reputation and held a residency at the 2007 Spoleto Festival in Italy. Since then, the Crossing has worked with ensembles as diverse as the American Composers Orchestra and the Rolling Stones (on a 2013 tour). They have appeared at New York's Lincoln Center (in the Mostly Mozart Festival), premiering a new work by John Luther Adams, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. From 2009 to 2014, they operated a festival of their own, Month of Moderns. The Crossing has recorded for the contemporary music labels Navona, Innova, Albany, ECM, and Cantaloupe, releasing albums as if they were water, featuring new compositions by Gregory W. Brown and Stratis Minakakis, on Innova in 2018.
Perhaps the heart of the Crossing's activities has been their energetic commissioning of new music. The group has been responsible for more than 70 premieres of new works by a wide variety of composers that includes international figures such as Latvia's Ēriks Ešenvalds and Iceland's Anna Thorvaldsdottir as well as American composers of many styles and schools, including, in addition to Brown and John Luther Adams, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Gabriel Jackson, David Lang, David Shapiro, and Lewis Spratlan. The choir's musical qualities have won consistent praise in mainstream press organs as well as among connoisseurs of new music. In 2019, the Crossing, under Nally, released two albums Voyages: Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Robert Convery, and Kile Smith: The Arc in the Sky, both of which earned Grammy nominations. The Crossing was featured on another Grammy-nominated album in 2019, joining the New York Philharmonic on Julia Wolfe's Fire in My Mouth.