90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
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 23 Comment

New Documentary Profiles Human Rights Watch Team

An elite group known as the E-Team travels across the globe documenting human rights violations and war crimes.

October 23 Comment

Bottom Of The Sea Is ‘A World Of Surprises’

The world's oceans cover nearly two-thirds of the Earth's surface, yet little is understood about the ocean floor.

October 22 13 Comments

Colorado Backs Away From Pot Edibles Ban

Critics say a ban would violate the state's voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana, which took effect in January.

October 22 4 Comments

Modest Raise For Social Security Recipients

Economist Diane Swonk says the 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase falls short of the inflation older Americans actually see.