I discovered Chris Thile a few years ago. He is the young mandolin virtuoso who has played with Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers. I’d never really given the mandolin much thought, however, until I heard this spot on NPR: Chris Thile Looks Back to Bach.
For years, I’ve been aware of orchestras and other traditional presenting organizations bringing in “crossover” performers to try to bridge the gap between classical and popular music. Sometimes, this moves the needle and new, younger audience members get converted to classical concertgoers.
What happened in my case, though, is that Chris Thile converted me into someone who now enjoys listening to the mandolin. As he was stretching the limits of his instrument and recording a solo album, drawing source material from Bach, I was drawn to Thile for his absolute mastery of his instrument.
I guess you could say, I was lured by Bach. (It's not the first time and I can guarantee it won't be the last!)