Mandolinist Chris Thile, a MacArthur Fellow and Grammy winner, will perform at Sauder Concert Hall on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.Thile has performed at Sauder three previous times: as a part of the trio Nickel Creek, which won the International Mountain Bluegrass Award, in 2006; with the quintet The Punch Brothers, which won a Grammy Award, in 2009; and as a solo act in 2015.
This will be the first show for the Goshen College Performing Arts Series in 2023, due to the rescheduling of popular public radio host Ira Glass’ “Seven Things I’ve Learned” that was originally slated for January.
As a singer-songwriter, Thile has collaborated with prestigious musicians such as Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma. Fleck and Meyer have also performed in Sauder.
According to the MacArthur Foundation, who he received a Fellowship Grant from in 2012, Thile has developed a “new musical aesthetic and a distinctly American canon for the mandolin” with his unique blend of styles and genres ranging from progressive bluegrass and folk to rock and jazz.
Thile’s journey into music began at a young age: he started playing the mandolin at the age of 5, formed the previously mentioned Nickel Creek at age 8 and won the Walnut Valley Festival mandolin competition in Winfield, Kansas at 12. Since then, Thile has been nominated for Grammy Awards numerous times from 1997 to 2019, winning four of them -— three in the past decade.
Not only a singer-songwriter, Thile was the host of “Live from Here” (formerly known as “A Prairie Home Companion”) for four years.
Thile’s contagious energy and tangible passion for classical music as well as contemporary composition has entertained audiences across generations.
“Going into this year, Chris Thile was my most anticipated show to work, and even now I cannot wait to have the chance to get to meet him,” said sophomore student stage manager Sarah Miller.
With a new album from Nickel Creek on the horizon and sold-out shows across the United States, Thile continues to inspire audiences with his technical skill and musicality.
Seth Kauffman, a student light designer and operator, expressed his excitement to work during Thile’s upcoming show: “I’m excited… because it’s one of the first times that I am going to be working a show with an artist that I have heard of and admired for a while.”
Kauffman continued, saying that he’s looking forward to “learning how a professional touring musician actually travels and interacts with [people like] light operators.”
Tickets for “An Evening with Chris Thile” are still available on the Goshen College Box Office website. Tickets can also be purchased on the phone at (574) 535-7566.