The Crossing Announces Its 2019-20 Season

By Nicole Kuchta

Grammy Award-winning choir The Crossing has announced its 2019-20 season, which will include several world premieres.

Dan Henriksson and Donald Nally will direct the choral-theatre work “Aniara: fragments of time and space,” presented by Finnish National Opera at Almi Hall in Helsinki.  The Crossing will be joined by Klockriketeatern, with featured performers Matti Raita and Carl Alm.

Performance Dates: Sept. 16 – 21, 2019

Donald Nally will lead the world premiere of Gavin Bryars’ “A Native Hill” at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia. A pre-concert talk with Nally and Bryars will take place an hour before the performance.

Performance Date: Oct. 13, 2019

Celebrate the holidays with “The Crossing @ Christmas.” The ensemble will perform the world premiere of Edie Hill’s “Spectral Spirits,” based on poems by Holly Hughes, and David Lang’s “the little match girl passion.” Daniel Nally will conduct. Performances will take place at Philadelphia’s Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square and Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, as well as at New York’s The Met Cloisters.

Performance Dates: Dec. 20 – 22, 2019

The Annenberg Center will present “Knee Plays,” featuring texts by Robert Wilson and David Byrne set to music by Byrne and Philip Glass with projections by Jeff Sugg.

Performance Dates: Feb. 21 & 22, 2020

The Annenberg Center and Carnegie Hall will present the world / New York premieres of Michael Gordon’s “Travel Guide to Nicaragua,” based on the texts of Gordon, Mark Twain, and Rubén Darío. Cellist Maya Beiser will be featured. A pre-concert talk with Gordon and Donald Nally, moderated by John Schaefer, will precede the Carnegie Hall performance.

Performance Dates: March 22 & 25, 2020

Kicking off the “Month of Moderns” music festival, the world premiere of Daniel Felsenfeld’s “Blunt Movements: Rising Down,” based on the texts of Edward Gibbon, Susan Sontag, Thomas Paine, Saul Alinsky, James Baldwin, Cleve Jones, William T. Vollman, and Christopher Hitchens, will be held at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill.

Donald Nally will lead the International Contemporary Ensemble. A talk with Nally and Felsenfeld will precede the performance.

Performance Date: Jun. 13, 2020

Nicholas Cline’s “Watersheds,” based on texts by Rachel Carson, Mary Austin, John Muir, C.D. Wilber, and Henry Thoreau, will be performed along with Morton Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel” at Philadelphia’s Icebox Project Space. Saxophonist Matthew Levy, violist Wendy Richman, and percussionist Ross Karre will join The Crossing. The evening will also feature films by Brett Snodgrass.

Performance Date: Jun. 21, 2020

Aaron Helgeson’s “The Book of Never,” based on texts of the Novgorod Codex, and a new work by Tawnie Olsen will have their world premieres at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill.

The program will also include Toivo Tulev’s “I heard the voices of Children.” A talk with Donald Nally and the composers will precede the performance.

Performance Date: Jul. 2, 2020

The season will conclude with “The Crossing @ Big Sky,” a two-week residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana. The Crossing, composer Michael Gordon, and filmmaker Bill Morrison will collaborate on a new work, “Montaña,” which “draws on the history, beauty, and expanse of Montana as inspiration for this extended composition of 24 hours for unaccompanied choir and film.” Further performance details are TBA.

Performance Dates: TBA (Summer 2020)