Chris Thile is a musical omnivore. A creator of powerful and poignant music, the dazzling mandolin virtuoso and charismatic singer finds a through-line between seemingly disparate worlds and reminds us that great music is great music, regardless of genre. Whether he is performing solo Bach on the mandolin or exploring new territory with Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, he has redefined what it is to be a performer and composer. An essential voice in American music today, Thile is a multiple Grammy Award winner, a MacArthur Fellow, and since 2016, host of public radio’s popular Live from Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion). Chris Thile is also the 2018–2019 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. His residency focuses on his performance and compositional skills, revealing the unique art of a performing composer as well as the evolution of collaborative composition.
At the beginning of his residency, Thile is joined by singer-songwriter friends in Zankel Hall for a program that features the “Song of the Week” output for his weekly radio show. The following month, he sings and plays mandolin in two back-to-back solo concerts on the same night in Weill Recital Hall. Thile and guest artists explore bluegrass’s Scots and Irish roots in a March concert that opens Carnegie Hall’s Migrations: The Making of America festival. In a very special culminating event in May, Thile leads both Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers in the groups’ first performance together.