Chris Thile, mandolin
Friday, February 14, 2014
This performance is made possible in part through the generous support of Patrick McCabe
Chris Thile performs Bach Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001
Contemporary works and classics, including BACH
About This Performance
Chris Thile, of Punch Brothers, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist. With his broad outlook that encompasses progressive bluegrass, classical, rock and jazz, Thile transcends the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres, creating a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike.
Recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (aka “genius grant”), in February 2013 Thile also won a Grammy for his work on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan. In Spring 2013, Thile releases Bach Sonatas & Partitas Vol. 1, also on Nonesuch Records. On this new program, he draws from his new Bach recording, while also exploring his own compositions and contemporary music.
In a review of his quintet Punch Brothers’ latest Nonesuch recording, Who’s Feeling Young Now?, London’s Independent called Chris Thile “the most remarkable mandolinist in the world.” The McArthur Foundation echoed that assessment when it named Thile one of its 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2012—a recipient of its prestigious “Genius Grant.” In honoring Thile, the MacArthur Foundation noted that his “lyrical fusion of traditional bluegrass with elements from a range of other musical traditions is giving rise to a new genre of contemporary music.”
Prior to recording Punch Brothers acclaimed new disc, Thile completed an album of traditionupending interpretations of bluegrass classics with guitarist Michael Daves, Sleep With One Eye Open, which garnered a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. He also recorded The Goat Rodeo Sessions with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Stuart Duncan, and Thile’s mentor and frequent collaborator Edgar Meyer, which won the 2012 Grammy for Best Folk Album.
After a lengthy 2012 Punch Brothers tour, Thile, always up for another challenge, immediately embarked on a series of duo dates with fellow virtuoso, the jazz pianist Brad Mehldau. Said the Washington Post, “Their complex work translated to plain-faced beauty: simple, direct and exquisite.” In between his Punch Brothers shows, Thile also found time to present his Mandolin Concerto: Ad astra per alas porci with several chamber orchestras around the United States, including a date at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium.
A child prodigy, Thile first rose to fame as a member of Grammy Award-winning trio Nickel Creek, with whom he released three albums and sold two million records. As a soloist he has released five albums, as well as performing and recording extensively as a duo with Edgar Meyer and with fellow eminent mandolinist Mike Marshall. Other stellar musicians with whom Thile has collaborated include Béla Fleck and Hilary Hahn. Nonesuch Records released Thile’s most recent recording, Bach: Partitas and Sonatas, Vol.1, produced by Meyer, on August 6, 2013.
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