Performing Arts

KC Symphony and KC Chorale look forward to Grammy Awards

Kansas City Chorale has been nominated for Grammy Awards in two categories for “Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil” on the British label Chandos.
Kansas City Chorale has been nominated for Grammy Awards in two categories for “Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil” on the British label Chandos.

Two of the Kansas City’s leading classical music organizations are again in the running at the annual Grammy Awards.

The recording-industry awards, which recognize virtually all music genres, will be presented tonight in Los Angeles. The awards show will begin at 7 p.m. CT  with LL Cool J as the host.

The Kansas City Chorale and the Phoenix Chorale, both conducted by Charles Bruffy, have been nominated in two categories for “Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil,” released on the Chandos label — best choral performance and best engineered classical album. The engineers were Byeong Joon Hwang and John Newton.

Also nominated in the best engineered category is the Kansas City Symphony’s recording of Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3, “Organ,” engineered by Keith O. Johnson and Sean Royce Martin. It was released by Reference Recordings.

The Kansas City Chorale claimed three Grammy Awards for its 2012 recording of “Life and Breath: Choral works by Rene Clausen.” In 2007, the choral group’s performance of Alexander Grechaninov’s “Passion Week” (recorded with the Phoenix Chorale) won for best-engineered album.

The symphony previously won a Grammy in the surround sound category for its recording of “Britten’s Orchestra” in 2011, which also earned David Frost a Grammy as classical producer of the year.

Clearly, recognition by the recording industry adds to a classical organization’s prestige — locally and nationally.

“Well, it’s kind of the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval, although there may be some readers who don’t know what that means,” Bruffy said. “If you do all of your work and try to make the best art you can and bring the music to life as well as you can, this is a nice gold star that kind of just reinforces that the work you do is valuable and viable.”

Bruffy said about half the singers who performed on the recording plan to attend the awards. Most will stay at the historic Biltmore Hotel.

“It’s a great big party out there and a huge celebration,” Bruffy said. “If we win it’s going to be because of the singers.”

The classical awards, he said, will be announced in the afternoon. He estimated the results would be available on by 3 p.m. Kansas City time. Live-streaming begins an hour earlier and will be available at

The nominated recording is the fourth collaboration between the Kansas City and Phoenix chorales, Bruffy said.

“It’s an honor to be nominated and even better to win,” said Frank Byrne, the Symphony’s executive director. “It’s a rarefied atmosphere to be among those nominated. We’re very proud of our recordings and it’s nice that others are recognizing their excellence.”

The nomination for engineering, Byrne said, reflects the quality of work practiced by Reference Recordings, the San Francisco-based company that has released all the Symphony’s recordings. The company’s staff deserves the “real praise,” Byrne said.

“Of course, we have to produce the outstanding performances,” he added. “But they are an amazing partner to work with. We think we’ve got a good thing going.”


The Grammy Awards show is at 7 p.m. Monday on CBS. Live-streaming of the ceremonies begins at 2 p.m. at