Charles Bruffy Recognized With Signature Sinfonia Award
GRAMMY-award winning conductor Charles Bruffy achieved a career and personal milestone this past Saturday when he received the Signature Sinfonian award from the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America. Founded in 1898 at the New England Conservatory of Music, Phi Mu Alpha is an American collegiate fraternity for men with a special interest in music. The Signature Sinfonian award is conferred upon Sinfonian members "who have achieved a high standard of accomplishment in their field or profession, thereby bringing honor to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia." Other notable artists who have received the elite Signature Sinfonian award include Luciano Pavarotti, Branford Marsalis, Duke Ellington, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Robert Shaw, as well as entrepreneurs George Eastman and Andrew Carnegie.
"When I joined the Nu Gamma chapter of Phi Mu Alpha back in my days at Missouri Western University, I never dreamed that someday I would receive this incredible honor from them," said Bruffy. "The list of artists who hold this distinctive award is mind-boggling to read, and it is truly humbling to see my own name among them."
Bruffy's award was bestowed specifically for "displaying an outstanding commitment and dedication to his field; demonstrating himself as a successful role model and helping others realize their potential; and exhibiting high standards of excellence in representing the Fraternity as an alumnus."
Jesse Reyes, a member of Sinfonia's Commission on Standards, flew to Phoenix to personally present the award to Bruffy at his last performance as Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chorale. He was joined by Gordon Zaft, Governor of Province 35 of Phi Mu Alpha. Bruffy announced at the end of last season that he would be retiring from the Phoenix Chorale to focus full-time on his roles as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Kansas City Chorale, Chorus Director for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, and Director of Music at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, Kansas.
One of the most admired choral conductors in the United States, GRAMMY winner Charles Bruffy began his career as a tenor soloist, performing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings as well as concerts in France and at Carnegie Hall. His eclectic discography includes six recordings with Nimbus Records and seven with Chandos Records. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has recognized five of these recordings with a total of 12 GRAMMY nominations and three GRAMMY wins, most recently in 2015 for "Best Choral Performance" for his recording of Rachmaninoff's "All-night Vigil."
Bruffy is a member of the advisory boards of the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde and WomenSing in the San Francisco Bay area, and served on the board of Chorus America for seven years. He conducts workshops and clinics across the U.S., including teaching at the Westminster Choir College Summer Conducting Institute since 2006.