On the Front Row with Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile
Two musicians at the very top of their careers visited the University of Central Arkansas in January for one of only 13 tour stops in the nation. The Arkansas Educational Television Network had the privilege of taping Edgar Meyer, a world-renowned double-bass soloist, and Chris Thile, mandolinist for the "newgrass" band Nickel Creek.
"AETN Presents: Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile" was taped Jan. 31, 2005, at the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall as part of the UCA Public Appearances' Arkansas Acoustic Festival. UCA was the final stop for Meyer and Thile on a tour that included Carnegie Hall, Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Disney Hall in Los Angeles and the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois. The Arkansas Acoustic Festival is made possible, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
Prominently established as a unique and masterful instrumentalist, Edgar Meyer delights his audiences both as a vibrant performer and an innovative composer. Hailed by the New Yorker as, "...the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively inchronicled history of his instrument," Mr. Meyer's unparalleled technique and musicianship in combination with his gift for composition have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast, caried audience. In 2002 his singularity in the field was recognized by a MacArthur Award.
An exclusive SONY artist who is ever involved in imaginative projects, Mr. 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 and remained there for 16 weeks. Applachia Waltz toured extensively in the U.S. and the trio was featured both on the David letterman Show and the televised 1997 Inaugural Gala. Joining with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O'Connor for a second time, Appalachian Journey, the follow-up to Appalachian Waltz, was released in March 2000. Appalachian Journey won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album that season.
Born in 1981 in Oceanside, California Chris Thile started the mandolin at a very young age. By 8 he had joined up with two others to form the group Nickel Creek. At 12 he was the youngest mandolin player to win the National Mandolin Championships. He recorded his first CD, "Leading Off" at 13 and since then came out with others including CDs with his group Nickel Creek, which recently won a Grammy award for "Best Contemporary Folk Album". Now in heavy demand as a sideman for performers as diverse as Dolly Parton, The Dixie Chicks, Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, Thile has brought the mandolin to a new level of popular acclaim and national attention.