Music at the Met

"... an indispensable choral ensemble ..."

Joshua Barone, New York Times
Philly’s world-famous choir, The Crossing, premieres Gavin Bryars’ latest. Will it be their next Grammy?

"Moments of spiritual revelation fanned out into otherworldly harmonies, often resolving with a compositional sleight-of-hand — always for expression, never for show — that you don’t often hear outside of Sibelius.

" ... the piece left me feeling as if I had been on a much-needed, weeklong vacation — one that I look forward to taking again when The Crossing’s already-finished recording of 'A Native Hill' comes out. Stay tuned for a date and label."

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
America’s Most Astonishing Choir Hates Sounding Pretty

"It’s a pristine sound. But there’s also urgency in it; a sense of searching; always a reason behind the gorgeousness."

Zachary Wolfe, New York Times
The Most Elaborate “Noon to Midnight” Yet at Disney Hall

"From Philadelphia, the 24 voices of The Crossing dazzled with their beautiful, lush harmonies ... in the first performance of Toivo Tulev’s moving I Heard the Voices of Children."

Richard Ginell, San Francisco Classical Voice
Classical CDs Weekly

"Donald Nally’s crack chamber choir The Crossing do a phenomenal job, along with an impressive team of instrumentalists – clarinettist Doris Hall-Gulati deserves a shout out. This disc recently, and deservedly, won a Grammy. It's magnificent, and shouldn't just appeal to Guardian reading types like me. Stretch your ears and snap up a copy."

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk
With Protest and Fire, an Oratorio Mourns a Tragedy

"The big things are right in this tautly structured 60-minute piece in four parts: 'Immigration,' 'Factory,' 'Protest' and 'Fire.' In an affecting touch, the chorus is made up of 146 women and girls, members of the excellent chamber choir the Crossing (Donald Nally, director) and the impressive Young People’s Chorus of New York City (Francisco J. Núñez, director)."

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
The Crossing makes a brilliant stand at Park Avenue Armory

" ... few choirs have committed themselves to new music so fully, nor become so widely respected in doing so, as the Philadelphia-based chamber choir The Crossing.... under the direction of Donald Nally, The Crossing performed the entire program brilliantly, showing tight intonation and a powerful yet flexible sound."

Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review
In a Gilded Space, a Choir Reflects on War and Peace

"The program emphasized the Crossing’s gift for lending social activism poetic form, as well as its uncanny array of sounds, from mere fumes to piercing, feral cries.... The most powerful statement, and the only work exploiting the full, astonishing range of vocal techniques of the Crossing’s singers, was Ted Hearne’s 'Animals,' which closed the first act. Its text consists of six words drawn from a speech by Mr. Trump about illegal immigrants: 'These aren’t people. These are animals.'"

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times
Against all odds, a choir focused on new music prospers

"Nally’s 24-voice choir has, to date, presented more than 60 commissioned world premieres. It collaborates with some of the biggest names in contemporary composition. It has recorded 14 commercially released albums. The latest of these, an ECM disc of Gavin Bryars’ 'The Fifth Century,' won a Grammy award for best choral performance in January. Its reputation for choral excellence is nationally recognized."

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
The Crossing presents timely and challenging new music for voices

"The two-dozen voices of The Crossing filled the museum’s West Garden Court with a perfectly tuned, ideally blended sound in four meaty works from the last three years. The group demonstrated its mastery of many daunting challenges, from towering dissonant structures in close harmony to modern techniques and rhythmic complexity. They did so with such clear diction that the words could be understood mostly without referring to the program. At the same time, the relentless sheen of perfection gave the aural impression of something more like a machine than human utterance."

Charles Downey, Washington Classical Review
Hearne: Sound from the Bench

"The marvelous choral singers of The Crossing navigate Hearne's explosion of styles with fearlessness and authenticity, as does Donald Nally, their impressive conductor. Hearne's multi-genre mastery is impressive, and so is the dexterity with which he deploys his musical and rhetorical skills to advance his vision of social justice."

Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News
Classical Notes: A New Recording of “Threni” and Ted Hearne’s “Sound from the Bench”

"These qualities are enhanced by Hearne’s unerring performers, the superb Philadelphia choir the Crossing, directed by Donald Nally."

Russell Platt, New Yorker
John Luther Adams, ‘Canticles of the Holy Wind’

"The Crossing, the resourceful new-music chorus led by Donald Nally, imbues the music with both energy and awe."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
The Crossing premieres a moveable feast from Bang on a Can

"Anonymous Man leaves the impression of being an important piece, and a creative leap forward for Gordon — a case made by the Crossing’s performance, which ... brought out many moments of subtle emotion that made you want to hear the piece again. Immediately."

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
‘Stellar international reputation’ for Hill ensemble

"Two of the three works were world premieres while the third was an American premiere. All three received renditions of such sterling mastery that they couldn’t help but enhance the choir’s already stellar international reputation."

Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local
Seven Respones

"The Crossing’s performances are superbly articulated, with the accompaniments from the International Contemporary Ensemble splendidly realised. A fascinating programme that I will return to."

Guy Rickards, Gramophone
Classical ECM: 'The Fifth Century'

"... the work is performed by American forces, the mixed choir of The Crossing conducted by Donald Nally.... Each and every member ... is a master of pure tone untouched by vibrato."

Ethan Iverson, Do The Math
Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century

"The Crossing, which commissioned the piece ... are, in a word, perfect."

Robert M. Tilendis, Green Man Review
John Luther Adams's Major New Choral Work Gets NY Premiere

"Conducted in the round by Music Director [Donald] Nally, the singers gave highly exposed solos on precise pitches and rhythms, in extreme registers, while convincingly evoking animal sounds, without embarrassing themselves-a quadruple feat-then returned, in each following movement, to immaculately blended straight-toned singing, free of vibrato."

Daniel Stephen Johnson, Musical America
‘Canticles of the Holy Wind’ Summons the Elements at the Met

On Saturday the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented Mr. Adams’s 'Canticles of the Holy Wind,' a hypnotic and ethereally beautiful invocation of wind, sky and birdsong through human — but wordless — voices. The exquisite chamber choir the Crossing, which commissioned “Canticles” together with another ensemble, performed the hourlong suite in the museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall."

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times
Philly group The Crossing wows at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival

"... Philadelphia new-music stars the Crossing brought their biggest-ever project to Lincoln Center and scored a triumph. Whoops and cheers greeted director Donald Nally, his singers, and their instrumentalist colleagues ..."

Matthew Westphal, Philadelphia Inquirer

"... the Crossing choir allowed the music to unfold with distinctive poetry ..."

Philadelphia Inquirer
Crossing musically to Chestnut Hill

"... it was a delight hearing Nally and his choristers in the crystalline yet resonant aural ambience of the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. All the clarity of texture, eloquence of phrasing and potency of emotions they delineate ... were projected with scintillating immediacy ..."

Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local
The Crossing: 'Just when you think you've heard everything...'

"... the Crossing sang the new pieces in a foreground area with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and migrated to the slightly background transept area of the church for the Buxtehude movements with Quicksilver baroque instrumentalists. Plus mood-setting lighting. It was one of the new-music events of the year."

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
'The Fifth Century' as a window to eternity

"The sustained lines of The Fifth Century attested to the Crossing’s superb stamina and intonation. Singers leaned into the dissonances, particularly the inner voices, and Donald Nally provided lucid conducting throughout the concert."

Sacha Evans, Bachtrack
Classical Playlist: Lewis Spratlan

"... the Crossing, the superb contemporary-music vocal ensemble ..."

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
Bryars premiere highlights end of 'Month'

"But with deft shaping by The Crossing director Donald Nally, the ending ... achieved understated gravity."

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
'De Materie' a bold Minimalist outing for L.A. Philharmonic

"... ardently angelic."

Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

"... an alluring performance by the Crossing, an excellent choir conducted by Donald Nally that has made a name for itself in recent years as a champion of new music."

Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times
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