A native of Savannah, Missouri, Bruffy received his Bachelors degree from Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph, Missouri and a Master’s degree in vocal performance from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he also completed all course work for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting. Bruffy has received honorary doctorates from Baker University and Missouri Western State University.
Bruffy has been Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chorale since 1999 and of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988. The choirs are praised for both their live performances and recordings. Bruffy’s eclectic discography of over 13 recordings includes music by Argento, Brahms, Corigliano, Gretchaninov, Martin, Mäntyjärvi, Rachmaninoff, and Vaughan Williams. Bruffy has also been Artistic Director of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus since 2008.
Bruffy has conducted workshops across the United States, such as the Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey and for the National Association of Church Musicians Convention in Long Beach, California. In 2003 he conducted Verdi's Messa da Requiem in the Sydney Opera House. As a tenor soloist, Bruffy performed with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings and concerts in France, and in concerts at Carnegie Hall.
In 2009 Bruffy conducted both professional choruses in performances at the Arts & Cultural Center in Incheon, South Korea, Troy Music Hall in Troy, New York, and in Alice Tully Hall in New York City.
In 2010, Bruffy was asked to be the conductor of the Rhode Island Senior All-State Choir, where they performed at Rhode Island College.
Honors and awards
In 1999, The New York Times named Bruffy as a potential heir apparent to Robert Shaw. In 1996, Bruffy was asked by National Public Radio to help celebrate Robert Shaw's 80th birthday with an on-air tribute. In 2005, the magazine Fanfare called him "one of the next big things in American choral music."
Bruffy's work has resulted in numerous awards, including: ASCAP's Adventurous Programming award, the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Classical Album for his recording of Grechaninov's Passion Week, the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance for his album Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary, and both the 2012 Best Engineered Classical Album and 2012 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for his work with the Kansas City Chorale on Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen.
- "Bruffy wins 2 Grammys", The Savannah Reporter, 14 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "KC Chorale to be next in series", The Baker Orange, 2 November 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2003.
- 'Charles Bruffy', Retrieved 18 February 2003.
- About the Eugene Concert Choir and Eugene Vocal Arts Ensemble eugeneconcertchoir.org
- Troy, Alice Tully Hall, NY, Charles Bruffy, Kansas City & Phoenix Chorales Jen Rogers, choralnet.org 10 March 2009
- Whispered Prayers Recall a Disaster in the Baltic Sea Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, 17 March 2009
- Will the Voices Grow Ever Quieter?; Conductors Ponder the State of Choral Music After Robert Shaw's Death James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, 13 April 1999
- Best Small Ensemble Performance Naxos 2009
- Spotless Rose – Hymns To The Virgin Mary / Bruffy, Phoenix Chorale ArkivMusik 2008
- 55th-2012 GRAMMY Awards Winners, Retrieved 18 February 2013.