Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mandolin Player Chris Thile Wins MacArthur Genius Award

Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers performs during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. in June. (AP)

Mandolin player Chris Thile was one of 23 people awarded a MacArthur Foundation “Genius grant” Monday.

The foundation cited him as “a young mandolin virtuoso whose lyrical fusion of traditional bluegrass with elements from a range of other musical traditions is giving rise to a new genre of contemporary music.”

Thile told the Associated Press that he almost missed the call because he didn’t recognize the 312 area code.

His tour manager searched for the number online and told him that it came from the MacArthur Foundation.

“I think I must have turned white,” Thile told the AP. “I’ve never felt so internally warm. My heart was racing. All of a sudden, I felt very askew physically. I was trying to catch my breath. … I thought, `Oh my God, did I win a MacArthur?”‘

Thile first fell in love with the mandolin at the age of two.

He told Here and Now’s Robin Young that the mandolin “was small and high-pitched like me….it was just really interesting, especially to a little tiny person.”

We revisit our conversation with Thile from earlier this year.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 7 219 Comments

Lawsuit Challenges Transgender Locker Room Access At Planet Fitness

We hear a counterargument to our conversation earlier this week about how to accommodate transgender people in gyms.

October 7 12 Comments

‘I Drive Your Truck’ Songwriter Now Drives Her Brother’s Truck

Like the real-life story that inspired her hit song, Connie Harrington now drives a pickup truck to remember a loved one who died.

October 7 Comment

How To Make Your Own Shrub For Sodas And Cocktails

The vinegar and fruit syrup can be made into a refreshing drink – or even used in sweet and savory dishes.

October 6 58 Comments

Former Sandy Hook Teacher On Moving Forward After Tragedy

Kaitlin Roig-Debellis explains how she worked through her grief after the tragic shooting in her new book "Choosing Hope."