The Crossing and Gavin Bryars

The Crossing is a professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music.  Formed by a group of friends in 2005, the ensemble’s reputation 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). Consistently recognized in critical reviews, The Crossing has been hailed as “ardently angelic” (Los Angeles Times, 4/14) and “something of a miracle” (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/14).  Highly sought-after for collaborative projects, The Crossing has sung with the Los Angeles Philarhomic, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, the baroque orchestra Quicksilver, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, and The Rolling Stones. The ensemble has sung at Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Upcoming collaborations include National Sawdust in Brooklyn, the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Cleveland Art Museum, Colgate and Harvartd Universities, and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.  They premiered John Luther Adams’ Sila: the breath of the world at Lincoln Center in collaboration with the Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival, eighth blackbird, Jack Quartet, and TILT brass.

The Big Sky Choral Initiative Choral Initiative is an artistic partnership between the Philadelphia-based professional chamber choir The Crossing and the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, and the project brings a small group of top talent together in an environment that supports rigorous training and fosters the creation of inspiring new choral music.

Gavin Bryars studied philosophy at Sheffield University and became a professional jazz bassist and a pioneer of free improvisation working especially with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. In the late 1960s he worked with John Cage and this influenced early works such as the indeterminately scored The Sinking of the Titanic of 1969 and the classic Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet of 1971.

A major turning point in his development was his first opera Medea, premièred at the Opéra de Lyon and Opéra de Paris in 1984 (directed and designed by Robert Wilson), and given a concert performance by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 1995. He has written two further operas, both with libretti by his long time collaborator Blake Morrison: Doctor Ox’s Experiment (English National Opera 1998, directed by Atom Egoyan, & also at Theater Dortmund, 1999), and G (directed by Georges Delnon), commissioned by the Staatstheater Mainz for the Gutenberg 600th anniversary.His latest opera, Marilyn Forever, will be presented by Aventa on 12 & 13 September at the MacPherson Playhouse Theatre, Victoria, BC.

Gavin Bryars’ work is widely recorded on ECM, Incus, Point, Philips, Argo, Clarinet Classics, Daphénéo, CBC Records, Touch, Mode, and on his own label GB Records.


The Crossing has an ongoing commitment to recording the many works they commission; they appear on the Innova, Navona, Albany, and ECM labels.  The ensemble 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 from Chorus America.

The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artists Management.


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