Skip directly to content
Browse by:
  • Wednesday, September 16, 2009
    Chris Thile Premieres His Mandolin Concerto with Colorado Symphony
    Cassandra Jenkins

    Chris Thile's The Blind Leaving the Blind, a 40-minute, four-movement suite, is at the heart of Punch Brothers’ Nonesuch debut album, Punch, released in 2008. Now, the composer-singer-mandolin player unveils his first Mandolin Concerto, Ad astra per alas porci, live with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, under music director Jeffrey Kahane, at Denver's Boettcher Concert Hall this Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. The performances are part of the orchestra's American Festival, also featuring Copland's Suite from Billy the Kid and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

    Thile brought his Mandolin Concerto to Interlochen Center for the Arts earlier this summer, to give it a trial run in a July concert with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) that also happened to feature Copland's Appalachian Spring and Fanfare for the Common Man. WYSO's director, Jung-Ho Pak, in an interview with the Traverse City Record-Eagle, called the concerto "a very deep and richly complex and though-out piece. My breath is taken away."

    ---

    Leading to this week's official premiere in Denver, Thile talked to Sequenza 21, the contemporary classical music site, about the new piece. In an interview with John Clare, Thile discusses the conception behind the piece, beginning with its title, Ad astra per alas porci, translated as "To the stars on the wings of a pig." It was a favorite phrase of John Steinbeck, Thile explains, meant to express the human duality of, at once, being earth-bound and aspiring for a higher beauty; a fitting phrase for his own artistic efforts.

    Thile goes on to discuss his writing process, and his interest, as a composer, instrumentalist, and vocalist, in exploring music across a diverse array of styles. "As long as I have something to play, something to sing, something to write," he says, "I'll be happy."

    Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of the audio interview at sequenza21.com.

    ---

    There's also an extensive interview with Thile about the concerto on violinist.com. "I feel like I've done a lot of examining of the mandolin's
    possibilities," Thile tells the site's Laurie Niles, "but this is the culmination of my efforts in that
    direction thus far." There's much more at violinist.com.

    ---

    For information on upcoming performances of Thile's Mandolin Concerto with orchestras across the country, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour/chris-thile. For upcoming Punch Brothers dates, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour/punch-brothers.

    Journal Articles:On TourArtist News

Enjoy This Post?

Share This Post

Chris Thile Premieres His Mandolin Concerto with Colorado Symphony

Browse by:
nonesuch's picture
on September 15, 2009 - 1:37pm
Article Type: 
Publish date: 
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 15:00
Excerpt: 

Chris Thile's first Mandolin Concerto, Ad astra per alas porci, receives its official world premiere this week in three performances with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra under Jeffrey Kahane, following a test run of the piece at Interlochen this summer. "I feel like I've done a lot of examining of the mandolin's possibilities," Thile tells violin.com, "but this is the culmination of my efforts in that direction thus far." In an extensive interview with Sequenza 21, he says, "As long as I have something to play, something to sing, something to write, I'll be happy."

Copy: 

Chris Thile's The Blind Leaving the Blind, a 40-minute, four-movement suite, is at the heart of Punch Brothers’ Nonesuch debut album, Punch, released in 2008. Now, the composer-singer-mandolin player unveils his first Mandolin Concerto, Ad astra per alas porci, live with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, under music director Jeffrey Kahane, at Denver's Boettcher Concert Hall this Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. The performances are part of the orchestra's American Festival, also featuring Copland's Suite from Billy the Kid and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Thile brought his Mandolin Concerto to Interlochen Center for the Arts earlier this summer, to give it a trial run in a July concert with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) that also happened to feature Copland's Appalachian Spring and Fanfare for the Common Man. WYSO's director, Jung-Ho Pak, in an interview with the Traverse City Record-Eagle, called the concerto "a very deep and richly complex and though-out piece. My breath is taken away."

---

Leading to this week's official premiere in Denver, Thile talked to Sequenza 21, the contemporary classical music site, about the new piece. In an interview with John Clare, Thile discusses the conception behind the piece, beginning with its title, Ad astra per alas porci, translated as "To the stars on the wings of a pig." It was a favorite phrase of John Steinbeck, Thile explains, meant to express the human duality of, at once, being earth-bound and aspiring for a higher beauty; a fitting phrase for his own artistic efforts.

Thile goes on to discuss his writing process, and his interest, as a composer, instrumentalist, and vocalist, in exploring music across a diverse array of styles. "As long as I have something to play, something to sing, something to write," he says, "I'll be happy."

Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of the audio interview at sequenza21.com.

---

There's also an extensive interview with Thile about the concerto on violinist.com. "I feel like I've done a lot of examining of the mandolin's
possibilities," Thile tells the site's Laurie Niles, "but this is the culmination of my efforts in that
direction thus far." There's much more at violinist.com.

---

For information on upcoming performances of Thile's Mandolin Concerto with orchestras across the country, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour/chris-thile. For upcoming Punch Brothers dates, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour/punch-brothers.

featuredimage: 
Chris Thile outdoors by Cassandra Jenkins

Related Posts

  • Monday, October 22, 2018
    Monday, October 22, 2018

    Mountain Man launches its first tour in six years in Washington, DC, tonight. The tour, featuring music from the trio's first album in eight years, Magic Ship, continues in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Cambridge, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Minneapolis, Omaha, Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, culminating with two nights in Saxaphaw, North Carolina.

    Journal Topics: Artist NewsOn Tour
  • Friday, October 19, 2018
    Friday, October 19, 2018

    Gabriel Kahane joins Chris Thile on Live From Here … Sam Amidon begins UK tour in Birmingham … Laurie Anderson brings The Language of the Future to Lithuania … Timo Andres plays New Sounds Live in NYC … David Byrne launches American Utopia UK tour in Leeds … Tigran Hamasyan is in California … James Farm concludes European tour in Germany … Kronos Quartet premieres new program at Stanford … Natalie Merchant headlines Hudson Valley Votes benefit … Mandy Patinkin continues Diaries 2018 NYC residency … and more …

    Journal Topics: On TourWeekend Events
[{"parent":{"title":"Get on the list !","body":" Get exclusive information about NONESUCH tour dates, video premieres and special announcements ","field_newsletter_id":"14075483","field_label_list_id":"6389157","field_display_rates":"-1","field_preview_mode":"false","field_lbox_height":"","field_lbox_width":"","field_toaster_timeout":"16000","field_toaster_position":"From Bottom","field_turnkey_height":"800"}}]

Performs On