The Crossing Named Ensemble of the Year
Special Choir Honored by Musical America
By: Susan Hall - Oct 22, 2023
The Crossing has been named Musical America's 2024 Ensemble of the Year. Musical America's article states: "The Crossing is one of the most innovative choirs on the planet. Not only are they committed to issues of social justice, but the music they sing is brand spanking new. Under conductor Donald Nally, their performances have increasingly embraced theatrical elements, while their recordings have notched up a staggering three Grammy wins in under 20 years."
Each year, Musical America recognizes classical music artists and leaders who made outstanding contributions to the performing arts. Of this year's awardees, Musical America publisher Stephanie Challener said: “Each of these remarkable talents have, in his or her unique way brought entirely new perspectives and vistas to the performing arts. It is our honor to recognize these great artists and their contributions."
The award comes during The Crossing's fall season. This October, they presented the world premiere of David T. Little's SIN-EATER at Penn Live Arts at the Annenberg Center at University of Pennsylvania with Bergamot Quartet. The piece, composed by Little recognized as one of the most imaginative young composers, draws on the past and present to explore power through its connection to eating and food. Their September project Crickets in Our Backyard featured world premiere commissions by Tania León (written for The Crossing and Claire Chase) and The Crossing's 2022-2023 Resident Composer Ayanna Woods, alongside the indoor premiere of Wang Lu's At Which Point, a 2021 Crossing commission. The concert, first presented in Philadelphia, toured to Yale and Harvard Universities, where The Crossing and conductor Donald Nally participated in masterclasses, performances, and recording sessions with student singers, composers, and conductors
Looking ahead, their 31st studio album Sumptuous Planet will be released on New Focus Recordings on November 10. Coming on the heels of their third Grammy Award-winning album Born, this spectacular work by composer David Shapiro based on writings of Richard Dawkins and Richard Feynman, wrapping atheist writings around the structure of a mass to celebrate the incredible wonder of the world and universe.
Later this fall, they present the world premiere of David Lang's poor hymnal, a new work that explores how hymnals reflect our society's ideals. The performance is a co-presentation with Penn Live Arts at the Annenberg Center at University of Pennsylvania and will take place Friday, December 15. On Sunday, December 17, The Crossing presents poor hymnal at their home, The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill.