The Crossing Receives $200,000 Gift From Thomas Kasdorf
The Crossing has received an extremely generous $200,000 gift from long-time friend, advocate, and supporter Thomas Kasdorf of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The extraordinary unrestricted funding will support The Crossing's 2019-2020 season, with commissions of Edie Hill, Tawnie Olsen, Gavin Bryars, Daniel Felsenfeld, Aaron Helgeson, Gabriel Jackson, and Michael Gordon at venues such as Crane Arts Icebox, the Met Cloisters, the Hal Prince Theater and Zellerbach Theaters at the Annenberg Center, Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, and at The Crossing's home, the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill.
Of his gift, Thomas Kasdorf says, "I believe in the power of choral music to bring people together, share experiences, and consider a better world, so I am thrilled to become a supporter of The Crossing. The Crossing's commitment to commission, perform, and record socially-relevant new music is changing the genre's purpose and meaning in the 21st century and influencing a new generation of artists. I hope others will consider joining me in support of The Crossing's evocative work as one of America's most unique and important musical ensembles."
Of the extraordinary gift, conductor Donald Nally says "In new music, in non-profit art-making, in professional choral singing, there is always a need for greater resources, more donors, larger gifts as we make, dream, and plan. Tom's exceptional generosity not only helps us this season, but will also serve to sustain our work in seasons to come. He hopes, as do we, that his gift inspires many others to step up and show the same confidence in our art and work. Please consider supporting us as we eye the approaching close of the year and the promise that 2020 holds, inspired by our artists, by Tom, and by you - all of whom are doing amazing work!. (With a special shout of thanks to The Team Tom folks at Arcadia Investment Management Corp and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation!)"
Thomas Kasdorf is a conductor and music educator living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His distinguished career includes decades-long positions at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo Central High School, Evanston Township High School, Loy Norrix High School, and First Presbyterian Church, Kalamazoo. Tom served for 30 years as leader of the Kalamazoo Singers, preparing the chorus for performances with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Opera Theatre, and upon his retirement in 2009 was named "Music Director and Conductor Emeritus" of the ensemble. He is a recipient of the Community Medal of Arts from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, and is a graduate of Northwestern University and Indiana University. Tom is the benefactor of the Thomas Kasdorf Scholarship in Choral Music at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music.
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 19 releases, two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations in four 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 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.
With a commitment to recording their commissions, The Crossing has fifteen commercially-released recordings, two Grammy Awards, and three nominations. Their 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 commission Sound 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 www.crossingchoir.org