When: Tue., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Virtuoso mandolinist Chris Thile was in the area just a month ago, playing a sold-out Red Hat Amphitheater during Raleigh's hugely successful IBMA World of Bluegrass fest with the Punch Brothers. That quintet—easily the most adventurous to appear at the IBMA event, let alone be nominated for an award—melds bluegrass with classical and indie rock approaches. They cover artists as influential as The Beach Boys and Radiohead, and as under-appreciated as Swedish folk group Vsen and Welsh post-hardcore trio McLusky.
That Thile is performing solo in a concert hall testifies to the former Nickel Creek member's versatility, particularly given this program's primary source of material. Thile previously has explored classical work with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan on the Grammy-winning Goat Rodeo Sessions, in a four-movement suite for the Punch Brothers, and through a commissioned mandolin concerto. In August, he released Bach: Sonatas & Partitas, Vol. 1, comprising the first three of the composer's works for solo violin. The pieces demand tremendous technical proficiency; Thile, who says he worked on them for more than a decade, delivers. He'll no doubt mix in some more modern music, too. —Spencer Griffith