ATTENTION! with Chris Thile

Friday, October 25, 2024

Capitol Theatre
7:30 pm

Our second Masterworks pays tribute to our Appalachian musical roots, as mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile joins us to perform his new concerto ATTENTION!, “a narrative song cycle for extroverted mandolinist and orchestra.” Other works on this concert include In the Beginning by North Carolina-based composer Brittany J. Green, Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino (another reference to the WSO’s inaugural season), and Three Dance Episodes from Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town,” a tribute to Wheeling native and accomplished conductor Everett Lee, a Black conductor who broke barriers in the 1950’s and worked closely with Bernstein throughout his life.

Returning subscriber renewals for the 2024-2025 season, Your Community In Concert, end June 24th. New subscriptions on sale June 28th. Single tickets on sale August 2nd. Contact the WSO box office at or
304-232-6191 to learn more.


Chris Thile, mandolin

Acclaimed Grammy Award-winning mandolinist, singer, songwriter, composer, and MacArthur Fellow recipient of the prestigious "Genius" grant, Chris Thile is a multifaceted musical talent, described by The Guardian as "that rare being: an all-round musician who can settle into any style, from bluegrass to classical," and hailed by NPR as a "genre-defying musical genius." Thile is a founding member of the highly influential string bands Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, and has collaborated with countless luminaries from Yo-Yo Ma to Fiona Apple to Brad Mehldau. For four years, Thile hosted public radio favorite Live from Here with Chris Thile (formerly known as A Prairie Home Companion). With his broad outlook, Thile creates a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike, giving the listener "one joyous arc, with the linear melody and vertical harmony blurring into a single web of gossamer beauty" (New York Times).<br /> <br /> Over the last year, Thile has been touring with Nickel Creek in support of the critically acclaimed 2023 release Celebrants, and captivating audiences with a playfully ambitious biographical composition entitled ATTENTION! (a narrative song cycle for extroverted mandolinist and orchestra). Additionally, he has been focused on the production of a new musical variety show, "The Energy Curfew Music Hour." Created with Claire Coffee and featuring Punch Brothers, the series will be released on Audible later this year.

John Devlin, conductor

Conductor John Gennaro Devlin, is an ardent champion of American music, an innovator of concert design, and a thought leader in the field of classical music. In his fifth season as Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Devlin is only the ninth conductor in its 90-year history to hold that title. He was recently named a recipient of the 2023 Georg Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award. Devlin’s artistry and versatility make him a frequent guest conductor with major orchestras across the nation. His engagements include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and the American Repertory Ballet. Of his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and violin soloist Joshua Bell, Anne Midgette of The Washington Post wrote that Devlin “led the evening with flair … and was visibly in his element.” A strong advocate for American music, Devlin has made it a programmatic focus and has premiered over 40 new American works. Committed to serving the wider arts community beyond the podium, Devlin is part of the six-member Conductor Constituency Leadership Team of the League of American Orchestras, advocating for conductors nationally. Previously, he served on the Conductors Guild’s Board of Directors and was a featured speaker at the organization’s annual conference, discussing the future of orchestras with the Executive Directors of the National and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras. He also delivered the keynote TED talk on “Innovation in Crowded Marketplaces” at a TEDx symposium. Devlin completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of James Ross at the University of Maryland. His undergraduate degree is from Emory University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a double major in Clarinet Performance and Latin.