Skip directly to content
Browse by:
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009
    Oregonian: Chris Thile Reinvents His Instrument with Mandolin Concerto
    Michael Wilson

    Chris Thile brings his Mandolin Concerto, Ad astra per alas porci, to the third city in as many weeks in a performance with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra at Birmingham's Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center tonight. Thile joined the Oregon Symphony this past weekend for the West Coast premiere of the piece. The Oregonian's Barry Johnson called it "nothing less than a reinvention of the possibilities of his instrument" from the "mandolin wizard Chris Thile."

    The performance, held Saturday night at Portland's Schnitzer Hall, was part of a larger program that also included performances by bassist Edgar Meyer (Thile's collaborator on a 2008 Nonesuch release), tabla player Zakir Hussain, and banjo master Béla Fleck. Its success was a testament to Thile and his fellow performers' efforts "to define a new way of making music," says Johnson, "one not circumscribed by standard forms and the clichés that often sink them."

    As in his work with Punch Brothers, Thile, in his Mandolin Concerto, takes his instrument and people's conceptions of it (and him), and makes something new. Rather than keep it within the confines of bluegrass, Thile let the mandolin "suggest lines and chords for the symphony rather than always madly dashing out inventive sketches," thereby allowing the performer/composer "to expand the mandolin's emotional range."

    At the end of the scheduled program, Thile joined his fellow headliners for a jam session "to great effect," Johnson writes, "which shows how elastic his mind is for new sounds. He and Fleck had a breathtaking exchange of melody lines in one song, and his high octane fingering drew whoots of pleasure from his fans high in the balcony."

    For a complete review of the weekend's event, visit The Oregonian's "Portland Arts Watch" blog at blogs.oregonlive.com.

    After tonight's performance, Thile heads to Davidson, North Carolina, to join his fellow Punch Brothers on stage at the Duke Family Performance Hall at Davidson College. For more tour information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    Journal Articles:On TourReviews

Enjoy This Post?

Share This Post

Oregonian: Chris Thile Reinvents His Instrument with Mandolin Concerto

Browse by:
nonesuch's picture
on September 29, 2009 - 5:22pm
Article Type: 
Publish date: 
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 14:30
Excerpt: 

Chris Thile brings his Mandolin Concerto to the third city in as many weeks in a performance with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham tonight. Thile joined the Oregon Symphony this past weekend for the West Coast premiere of the piece. The Oregonian called it "nothing less than a reinvention of the possibilities of his instrument" from the "mandolin wizard."

Copy: 

Chris Thile brings his Mandolin Concerto, Ad astra per alas porci, to the third city in as many weeks in a performance with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra at Birmingham's Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center tonight. Thile joined the Oregon Symphony this past weekend for the West Coast premiere of the piece. The Oregonian's Barry Johnson called it "nothing less than a reinvention of the possibilities of his instrument" from the "mandolin wizard Chris Thile."

The performance, held Saturday night at Portland's Schnitzer Hall, was part of a larger program that also included performances by bassist Edgar Meyer (Thile's collaborator on a 2008 Nonesuch release), tabla player Zakir Hussain, and banjo master Béla Fleck. Its success was a testament to Thile and his fellow performers' efforts "to define a new way of making music," says Johnson, "one not circumscribed by standard forms and the clichés that often sink them."

As in his work with Punch Brothers, Thile, in his Mandolin Concerto, takes his instrument and people's conceptions of it (and him), and makes something new. Rather than keep it within the confines of bluegrass, Thile let the mandolin "suggest lines and chords for the symphony rather than always madly dashing out inventive sketches," thereby allowing the performer/composer "to expand the mandolin's emotional range."

At the end of the scheduled program, Thile joined his fellow headliners for a jam session "to great effect," Johnson writes, "which shows how elastic his mind is for new sounds. He and Fleck had a breathtaking exchange of melody lines in one song, and his high octane fingering drew whoots of pleasure from his fans high in the balcony."

For a complete review of the weekend's event, visit The Oregonian's "Portland Arts Watch" blog at blogs.oregonlive.com.

After tonight's performance, Thile heads to Davidson, North Carolina, to join his fellow Punch Brothers on stage at the Duke Family Performance Hall at Davidson College. For more tour information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

featuredimage: 
Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer color

Related Posts

  • Thursday, April 18, 2019
    Thursday, April 18, 2019

    Stephin Merritt will perform original music he has written to score a screening of Tod Browning's 1925 silent film The Unholy Three, starring Lon Cheney, at The Town Hall in NYC on May 18, 2019. The Magnetic Fields front man will be joined by accordionist and novelist Daniel Handler (A Series of Unfortunate Events) and violist Pinky Weitzman for the one-night-only event. This is Merritt's first live silent-film scoring event on the East Coast, following his successful live score to two other Tod Browning films at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2010 and 2014.

    Journal Topics: Artist NewsOn Tour
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    The BBC Proms 2019 season includes Jonny Greenwood, who leads a late-night concert, Prom 70, at Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, September 10. He has curated a program of pieces by Biber and Krzysztof Penderecki, Steve Reich's Pulse, and Greenwood's own works, including the world premiere of his new piece, Horror vacui. Greenwood will perform with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The concert will be broadcast on BBC Four on Friday, September 13. General booking begins on May 11.

    Journal Topics: Artist NewsOn Tour
[{"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