Westminster offers the opportunity to observe the development of graduate student conductors in coaching sessions with Donald Nally, master teacher and three-time Grammy winner, and The Crossing–a professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally.
Donald Nally collaborates with creative artists, leading orchestras, and art museums to make new works for choir that address social and environmental issues. He has commissioned over 180 works and, with his ensemble The Crossing, has produced thirty recordings, winning three Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance, while nominated eight times. He has held distinguished tenures as chorus master for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and for many seasons at Il festival dei due mondi in Spoleto, Italy. He has worked closely with the artists Allora & Calzadilla and composer David Lang on museum projects in London, Porto, Cordoba, Edmonton, Houston, Osaka, and Philadelphia. He has been visiting resident artist at the Park Avenue Armory; music director of The Mile Long Opera, David Lang’s 1000-voice work on The High Line in Manhattan; and chorus master for works of Lang, Julia Wolfe, John Luther Adams and Louis Andriessen for the LA Philharmonic, NY Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. His sixty-chapter series Rising with The Crossing, a response to the 2020 pandemic, has been archived by The Library of Congress as a cultural artifact – “an important part of the historical record.” Recent projects include the Swedish Radio Choir, Klockriketeatern at the Finnish National Opera, the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm, the Big Ears Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, the Haarlem KoorBiënnale, and various projects at Carnegie Hall. Donald is a frequent guest artist/teacher at universities, including Yale, Harvard, the University of Chicago, Chicago, Indiana, Notre Dame, Westminster Choir College, and Boston Conservatory. He is the John W. Beattie Chair of Music Emeritus at Northwestern University.
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 nearly 170 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 30 releases, receiving three Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019, 2023), and eight Grammy nominations.
The 2023-2024 Season includes performances in Stockholm, Helsinki, Houston, and Philadelphia with major new works from Tania León, David Lang, Gabriella Ortiz, David T. Little, Ayanna Woods, Gavin Bryars, and the Philadelphia premiere of Tyshawn Sorey’s Monochromatic Light. Recent projects included Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaragua, commissioned for The Crossing by Carnegie Hall and Penn Live Arts; John Luther Adam’s Vespers of the Blessed Earth with the Philadelphia Orchestra, also at Carnegie Hall; Julia Wolfe’s unEarth with the New York Philharmonic’s in its inaugural season in the new Geffen Hall; Shara Nova’s Titration at Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam; a tour to the ACDA National Convention in Cincinnati and University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society featuring a world premiere of Jennifer Higdon and additional commissioned works of Caroline Shaw and Edie Hill; and Ted Hearne’s Farming, premiering outdoors at Kings Oaks Farm in Bucks County, PA, and touring to Haarlem, The Netherlands, and Caramoor Center for Music and Arts.
The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, 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, 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, The Big Sing (formerly 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, Carnegie Hall, Winter Garden with WNYC, and Yale, Harvard, Duke, Northwestern, Chicago, and Notre Dame Universities.
The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forum’s 2017 Champion of New Music. They are 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.
The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artist Management. All of its concerts are broadcast on WRTI, Philadelphia’s Classical and Jazz public radio.
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