One of the most admired choral conductors in the United States, the 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 as the late, great conductor’s potential heir.
He has been Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988 and the Phoenix Chorale since 1999. He has been the Director of Music at Rolling Hills Church since 1994 and Chorus Director for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus since 2008. He conducts workshops and clinics across the US including teaching at the Westminster Choir College Summer Conducting Institute since 2006. Upcoming engagements include The Anúna International Choral Summer School in 2013 and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities in Halifax, Novia Scotia in 2014. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Atlanta Young Singers of Callenwolde and WomenSing in the San Francisco Bay area, and served on the Board of Chorus America 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, Stephen Paulus, Stephen 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 eight recordings with Chandos Records. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has recognized five of these recordings with a total of twelve Grammy nominations and five Grammy wins: in 2008 for “Best Engineered Album, Classical” for Grechaninov: Passion Week featuring the Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Chorale; in 2009 for “Best Small Ensemble Performance” for Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary featuring the Phoenix Chorale; in 2012 for “Best Engineered Album, Classical” and “Best Choral Performance” for Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen featuring the Kansas City Chorale; and in 2015 for “Best Choral Performance” for Rachmaninoff: All-night Vigil featuring the Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Chorale.