ASCAP would like to congratulate mandolinist and composer Chris Thile, who is among the recipients of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants."
From the MacArthur Foundation: "With a broad outlook that encompasses progressive bluegrass, classical, rock and jazz, Thile is transcending the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres in compositions for his own ensembles and frequent cross-genre collaborations. Although rooted in the rhythmic structure of bluegrass, his early pieces for his long-time trio, Nickel Creek, have the improvisatory feel of jazz; his current ensemble, Punch Brothers, evokes the ethos of classical chamber music even while adhering to the traditional instrumentation of the bluegrass quintet. […] Through his adventurous, multifaceted artistry as both a composer and performer with various ensembles, Thile is creating a distinctly American canon for the mandolin and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike."
The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Winners have no idea they've been nominated for the $500,000 award until they get the call, and nominators must remain anonymous.
For more information on Chris and the MacArthur Foundation, please visit http://www.macfound.org/fellows/class/2012. Chris and fellow Punch Brothers are currently on tour and will be in The New Yorker Festival this Friday at The Gramercy Theatre:http://nyr.kr/S53r15.