As one of the most admired choral conductors in the United States, Charles Bruffy leads the Kansas City Chorale in artistic excellence, showcasing a rich and varied selection of choral music. Bruffy began his career as a tenor soloist, performing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings and concerts in France and at Carnegie Hall. In 1999, the New York Times named him as Shaw’s potential heir, and in 2005 Fanfare magazine called him ‘one of the next big things in American choral music.’ He has been Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988, of the Phoenix Chorale since 1999 and Chorus Director for the Kansas City Symphony since 2008. Under Bruffy’s creative guidance, the Chorale has become a dominant force in the city’s cultural landscape by providing local audiences with dynamic, diverse and educational programming and recordings.
Respected and renowned for his fresh and passionate interpretations of standards of the choral music repertoire and for championing new music, he has commissioned and premiered works by American composers including Matthew Harris, Libby Larsen, Zhou Long, Stephen Paulus, Stephen Sametz, Steven Stucky, Eric Whitacre and Chen Yi. Under his supervision, the Roger Dean Company publishes a choral series specializing in music for professional ensembles and sophisticated high school and college choirs.
Charles Bruffy conducts workshops and clinics across the United States, serves on the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde and served on the Chorus America Board for over seven years. Increasingly busy on the international scene, he recently conducted performances of Verdi’s Requiem at the Sydney Opera House in Australia and in the summer of 2009, conducted members of the Kansas City and Phoenix Chorales at the Incheon International Choir Festival in South Korea.
With an impressive discography of 12 recordings, Bruffy’s versatile repertoire includes the Chandos recordings “Shakespeare in Song,” “Eternal Rest,” “Grechaninov: Passion Week,” “Rheinberger: Sacred Choral Works” and “Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary.” Bruffy has been nominated for 11 Grammy awards, winning a Grammy for Best Engineered Classical Album with “Passion Week” in 2007 and Best Small Ensemble Performance with the Phoenix Chorale’s “Spotless Rose” in 2009.
Bruffy received a master’s degree in conducting from the University of Missouri Kansas City, as well as honorary doctorates from both Baker University and Missouri Western University.