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The Crossing Presents The World Premiere Of ​​​​​​​A NATIVE HILL

The Crossing Presents The World Premiere Of ​​​​​​​A NATIVE HILL

Grammy-winning new-music choir The Crossing presents the world premiere of English composer Gavin Bryars'substantial new evening-length a cappella work, A Native Hill, on Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 5pm at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia.

The long-anticipated follow-up to Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century, which won The Crossing its first Grammy award, A Native Hill sets texts by the American writer Wendell Berry from his 1968 essay of the same title offering meditations on how life can be experienced, with detailed descriptions of the minutiae of rural existence; where simple natural events reveal themselves as metaphors for universal truths. Bryars has been able to draw on his close working and personal relationship with The Crossing and his intimate knowledge of the singers' individual characteristics to create another meaningful work for the ensemble. The New York Times has called the music of Bryars "accessible and defiantly personal."

A Native Hill will launch The Crossing's domestic season, having just returned from Helsinki where they gave seven performances of Robert Maggio's Aniara: fragments of time and space at the Finnish National Opera, in collaboration with Helsinki's Klockriketeatern (Dan Henriksson, director).

The Crossing's album Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), in collaboration with PRISM, was the winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance and named one of The Chicago Tribune's Top 10 Classical CDs of the 2016.

Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing, remarked, "The combination of Wendell Berry, with whom we share a deep (and at times outspoken) concern for our relationship with the earth, and Gavin Bryars, whose vocal writing for The Crossing can reach deep into memory and emotional introspection, is like many roads converging in an inevitable way. Gavin's music inspires us to stop, listen, and ponder. It is less a call to action than an invitation to remember again the beauty of the natural world and the life available to those who listen to that world."

Program Information
A Native Hill
Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
8855 Germantown Avenue | Philadelphia, PA 19118
Tickets: $35 General Admission, $25 Seniors, $20 Students.

Gavin Bryars: A Native Hill for choir a capella (2018-19) [World Premiere]

About The Crossing
The Crossing is a 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 90 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 16 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and three Grammy nominations in as many years.

The Crossing collaborates with some of the world's most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, Annenberg Center Live, Beth Morrison Projects, Dolce Suono, Allora & Calzadilla, Pig Iron Theatre Company, The Rolling Stones, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom they have appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University in the American premiere of James Dillon's Nine Rivers, Peak Performances at Montclair State University, The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the National Gallery in Washington D.C., and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. The Crossing joined Bang on a Can for its first Philadelphia Marathon. Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of the world's most prestigious venues and presenters, such as the Park Avenue Armory, the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, National Sawdust, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Haarlem Choral Bienalle in The Netherlands, The Kennedy Center in Washington, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Delaware Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, the WNYC Winter Garden, and Duke, Northwestern, Rowan, Salisbury, Colgate, and Notre Dame Universities. In 2014, they premiered John Luther Adams' Sila: the breath of the world at Lincoln Center with Jack Quartet and eighth blackbird. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on WRTI 90.1FM, Philadelphia's Classical and Jazz Public Radio. In the 2019-2020 season The Crossing will return to Carnegie Hall and make debuts at The Met Cloisters in New York, The Mann Center in Philadelphia, and the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki.

The Crossing has presented nearly 90 commissioned world premieres. Major new works have include Michael Gordon's Anonymous Man(2017), Michael Gilbertson's Born (2017), Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Ad genua (2016), Lansing McLoskey's Zealot Canticles (2017), Caroline Shaw's To the Hands (2016), John Luther Adams' Canticles of the Holy Wind (2013, co-commissioned with Kamer), Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century (2014, written for The Crossing and PRISM), Stratis Minakakis' Crossings Cycle (2015/2017), Gregory Spears' The Tower and the Garden (2019), Gregory Brown's un/bodying/s (2017), David Lang's statement to the court (2010), Lewis Spratlan's Hesperus is Phosphorus (2012, co-commissioned with Network for New Music), from Ted Hearne's Sound From the Bench (2014, co-commissioned with Volti) and Animals (2018, co-commissioned with the Park Avenue Armory), and, from Kile Smith, The Arc in the Sky (2018), The Consolation of Apollo (2014), The Waking Sun (2011), Vespers (2008, a commission of Piffaro), and The Arc in the Sky (2018). In 2019, the women of The Crossing collaborated with The New York Philharmonic on the world premiere of Julia Wolfe's Fire in My Mouth. In 2016, The Crossing presented Seven Responses with new works including those of David T. Little, Hans Thomalla, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and Santa Ratniece. That same year, The Crossing commissioned and presented Jeff Quartets, a rare compilation of quartets from fifteen of the world's leading composers, presented as a concert-length set and collected in an omnibus edition. In June 2019, The Crossing presented its largest project to date, Aniara: fragments of time and space, a collaboration with Klockriketeatern in Helsinki, and composer Robert Maggio. Future projects include composers Edie Hill, Tawnie Olson, Daniel Felsenfeld, Tawnie Olson, Harold Meltzer, Stacy Garrop, Jacob Cooper, David Shapiro, Aaron Helgeson, Martin Bresnick, Caroline Shaw, Gabriel Kahane, and Marcos Balter.

The Crossing's collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), was the winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance and named one of The Chicago Tribune's Top 10 Classical CDs of the 2016. Lansing McLoskey's Zealot Canticles won the 2019 Grammy and Thomas Lloyd's Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy, both as Best Choral Performance.

The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums' 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing's 2014 commissionSound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. They were the recipient of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, as well as the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award (with composer Joel Puckett) from Chorus America. Learn more at

*Image by Christian Stewart

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