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Chris Thile

The Marie-Josée Kravis Creative Partner, 2022–23

Biography

MacArthur Fellow and Grammy Award–winning mandolinist, singer, and songwriter Chris Thile is a founding member of the critically acclaimed bands Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek. For four years he hosted the public radio favorite Live from Here with Chris Thile (formerly known as A Prairie Home Companion). With his broad outlook, he creates a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike.

Most recently, Thile recorded Laysongs, released in June 2021 on Nonesuch. The album is his first truly solo album — just Thile, his voice, and his mandolin, on new recordings of six original songs and three covers, all of which is contextualized with banter including his ideas about spirituality. Recorded in a converted upstate New York church during the pandemic, Laysongs’s centerpiece is the three-part Salt (in the Wounds) of the Earth, which was inspired by C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. The album also features a song that Thile wrote about Dionysus; a performance of the fourth movement of Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin; God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot, based on Buffy Sainte-Marie’s adaptation of a Leonard Cohen poem; a cover of bluegrass legend Hazel Dickens’s Won’t You Come and Sing for Me; and Ecclesiastes 2:24, an original instrumental loosely modeled after the Prelude from J.S. Bach’s Partita for Solo Violin in E major.

Upcoming 2023-2024 Performances

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