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  • WDCH
  • Jan. 24, 2005
  • Program Features Prodigious Picking and Hard-Charging Rhythms Crossing Boundaries
    of Style and Virtuosity

    MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2005, AT 8 PM

    Double bassist and three-time Grammy winner Edgar Meyer and mandolin prodigy and two-time Grammy winner Chris Thile (pictured), 23, of Nickel Creek sidle up together for an evening of unforgettable music at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Monday, January 24, at 8 p.m. The performance, the second in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2004/2005 World Music Series, is part of a 12-city tour for the duo, both of whom are credited for expanding the bluegrass genre while taking their instruments to new dimensions.

    Meyer, a vibrant performer and an innovative composer, has been hailed by The New Yorker as "the most remarkable virtuoso… in the history of his instrument." Meyer's unparalleled technique and musicianship, in combination with his gift for composition, have brought him to the fore, earning him a MacArthur Award in 2002. A chameleon of musical styles ranging from classical to bluegrass and country, Meyer has performed with such artists as Béla Fleck, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, the Chieftains, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony.

    Thile, a wunderkind who, at age eight, joined forces with two other Southern California bluegrass prodigies, Sean and Sara Watkins to create the preteen phenom group Nickel Creek, which has since earned two Grammy Awards, is aptly described by the Chicago Tribune as "A force of nature with a flatpick; to say Thile is as staggering a talent as has ever come out of bluegrass would be too limiting, few have emerged from any genre that compare with Thile's brilliance." Now 23, Chris Thile has changed the mandolin forever, elevating it to the sophistication and brilliance of the finest jazz improvisers and classical performers. His technical virtuosity and ability to truly improvise and create new melodies has brought the mandolin to a new level of popular acclaim and national attention.

    The next concert in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's World Music series this season is The Masters of Persian Music on Saturday, February 26, 2005, 8 p.m. The series concludes on Saturday, April 2, 2005, 8 p.m., with the renowned Kronos Quartet and vocalist Emil Zrihan performing Arab and Jewish music, as well as the music of Osvaldo Golijov, who has collaborated on more than 30 works with Kronos Quartet.

    Composer and double bassist EDGAR MEYER, hailed for incredible versatility, is a widely sought after guest soloist. He has performed with Garth Brooks, Bruce Cockburn, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Hank Williams, Jr., Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, T-Bone Burnett, Reba McIntyre, the Indigo Girls, Travis Tritt and the Chieftains, among others. As a solo classical bassist, Meyer has released a concerto album with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra featuring Bottesini's Gran Duo with Joshua Bell; Meyer's Double Concerto for Bass and Cello with Yo-Yo Ma; Bottesini's Bass Concerto No. 2 and Meyer's Concerto in D for Bass. His catalog also includes an acclaimed album of Bach's Unaccompanied Suites for Cello. Fruitful collaborations are the cornerstone of Meyer's work. The recently released "Music for Two" is his latest collaboration with banjoist Béla Fleck, featuring live performances from the duo's tours together from October 2001 to September 2003. An exclusive Sony artist, Meyer and colleagues Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O' Connor have been widely acclaimed for the Sony release of "Appalachia Waltz," which soared to the top of the charts. Joining with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O'Connor for a second time, they released "Appalachian Journey" in March 2000, which won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album that season. In 1994, Meyer became the only bassist to receive the Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2000 became the only bassist to receive the Avery Fisher Prize.

    Born in Oceanside, California, CHRIS THILE first heard the mandolin at age two when his parents took him to hear a local bluegrass band. He pleaded for a mandolin for three years before they relented, and hasn't spent a day of his life since then without having the instrument in his hands, usually for hours and hours of daily practice, composition, performing and recording. At age eight, he joined forces with two other Southern California bluegrass prodigies, Sean and Sara Watkins, to create the group Nickel Creek, which, touring and playing the bluegrass circuit every summer and performing local gigs the rest of the year, quickly built a loyal following. At age 12, Thile won the de facto national mandolin championships at Winfield, Kansas, becoming the youngest champion ever and quickly drawing the attention of seasoned professional musicians and record company executives alike. Backed by an all-star cast of the world's leading acoustic musicians, Thile recorded his first solo CD, "Leading Off," when he was only 13 years old. He followed that with "Stealing Second" when he was 16. In 2000, Nickel Creek issued its eponymous debut CD. The band quickly began receiving airtime on major country radio stations while its videos earned heavy rotation spots on networks such as CMT and TNN. In 2001, Thile released another solo project, "Not All Who Wander Are Lost," an original and vivid musical statement that encompasses influences from progressive bluegrass to modern classical music to bebop jazz and beyond. Now in heavy demand as a sideman for performers as diverse as Dolly Parton, The Dixie Chicks, Béla Fleck, and Edgar Meyer, Thile has brought the mandolin to a new level of popular acclaim and national attention.



    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Edgar Meyer, double bass

    Chris Thile, mandolin

    Tickets ($25 - $80) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Libby Huebner: 562.799.6055; Rachelle Roe: 213.972.7310; photos: 213.972.3034