One of the most admired choral conductors in the United States, GRAMMY® Award–winning conductor Charles Bruffy began his career as a tenor soloist, performing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings and in concerts in France and at Carnegie Hall. Shaw encouraged his 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 him "the late, great conductor's potential heir."

UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance 2016 Alumni Achievement Award Recipient video for Charles Bruffy, M.M. '88

He has been Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988 and the Phoenix Chorale since 1999. He has served as Director of Music at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church since 1995 and Chorus Director for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus since 2008. A highly sought-after guest conductor and clinician, he conducts workshops and clinics across the U.S., including teaching at the Westminster Choir College Summer Conducting Institute since 2006. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde and WomenSing in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he served on the Chorus America board for seven years.

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, Jean Belmont Ford, Stephen Paulus, Steven Sametz, Philip Stopford, Steven Stucky, Joan Szymko, Eric Whitacre, and Chen Yi. Under his supervision the Roger Dean Company, a division of The Lorenz Corporation, publishes a choral series specializing in music for professional ensembles and sophisticated high school and college choirs.

His eclectic discography includes six recordings with Nimbus Records and seven recordings with Chandos Records. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has recognized Bruffy with a total of twelve GRAMMY nominations and five wins: Best Engineered Album, Classical for Grechaninov: Passion Week, featuring the Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Chorale (2008); Best Small Ensemble Performance for Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary, featuring the Phoenix Chorale (2009); and Best Engineered Album, Classical, and Best Choral Performance for Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen, featuring the Kansas City Chorale (2012). Charles most recently received the GRAMMY for Best Choral Performance for Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil (2015), featuring both the Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Chorale.