Charles Bruffy (born 1958) is an American choral conductor. He is artistic director of the Kansas City Chorale in Kansas City, Missouri and the Phoenix Chorale in Phoenix, Arizona, and is Chorus Director of the Kansas City Symphony. He lives in Kansas City and Phoenix.
Education and career
Charles Bruffy received his undergraduate degree in Piano from Missouri Western State University, and a Master's degree in Conducting from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. He received the Spotlight Alumni Award from the Conservatory of Music at UMKC's 1999 Alumni Awards Luncheon.
Mr. Bruffy began his career as a tenor soloist for Robert Shaw (conductor), performing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers for recordings and concerts in France and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Mr. Shaw encouraged Mr. Bruffy's development as a conductor, and in 1996 he was invited by American Public Media's Performance Today to help celebrate Shaw's eightieth birthday with an on-air tribute. In 1999, The New York Times named Bruffy as the late Shaw's potential heir. Mr. Bruffy became Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale in 1988. He has been Director of Music at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church since 1995. He took the reigns as Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chorale in 1998, and as Chorus Director of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus in 2008.
Mr. Bruffy conducts workshops and clinics both across the US and internationally. In 2015, he conducted the Texas All-State Choir. He presented workshops and conducted one of his choirs, the Kansas City Chorale, for the Association of Canadian Choral Communities at Podium 2014 – Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2014. He was a clinician for the Anúna International Choral Summer School in 2013, and his past engagements include clinics and conducting in Beijing, China; Sydney, Australia and Incheon, Korea among other cities. He has taught at the Westminster Choir College Summer Conducting Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, every summer since 2006.
He is renowned for his fresh and passionate interpretations of standards of the choral repertoire, and for championing new music. Bruffy has commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Ola Gjeilo, Matthew Harris, Anne Kilstofte, Libby Larsen, Zhou Long, Cecilia McDowall, Stephen Paulus, Steven Sametz, Philip Stopford, Steven Stucky, Joan Szymko, Eric Whitacre, Jean Belmont and Chen Yi. He has edited scores for the Roger Dean Company, a division of The Lorenz Corporation, which publishes a choral series specializing in music for professional ensembles and sophisticated high school and college choirs.
Awards and recognition
Bruffy's recording of Alexander Gretchaninov's Passion Week won a 2007 Grammy award for "Best Engineered Classical Album". His recording Spotless Rose with the Phoenix Chorale was a 2008 Grammy winner for "Best Small Ensemble Performance", and his 2012 album, Life and Breath: Music of René Clausen with the Kansas City Chorale won the Grammy for "Best Choral Performance". He has been nominated for Grammy awards 11 times.
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