A gala celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Nashville Symphony’s Schermerhorn Center will feature Ben Folds performing his 21-minute concerto for piano and orchestra.
The September 10 opening night to begin the Symphony’s 2016-17 season features Folds’ three-movement work, co-commissioned by the Symphony, which Nashville Scene’s John Pitcher describes as
a proudly and overtly derivative piece, sounding like the music of Prokofiev one minute, and Gershwin the next. But Folds’ own idiosyncratic style, which he describes as “piano for left-handed drummer,” always comes through, providing this glistening work with a welcome degree of thrust.
The Nashville Symphony
One of the many positives to come out of last year’s tragic floods in Nashville has been increased awareness of the music scene in the Music City beyond its iconic country-western genre. Among the artifacts salvaged from the flood, albeit in an unplayable state, was Ben’s touring piano, locked away in Soundcheck Nashville, a storage facility serving the Nashville musician community, while the rising waters of the Cumberland had their way. Now that the piano has been recovered and dismantled, Ben has autographed its keys, and they will be sold to benefit the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s annual campaign, which supports arts education in Nashville. (more…)
It’s been on the calendar for a while, but the promotion is kicking in (and so are ticket sales) for the Nashville Symphony show Keys to Music City, a benefit for the Nashville Symphony and for two volunteer firefighting companies. The show, on Saturday, November 27, is Folds’ only appearance in Nashville this year. Tickets, at $50-175, are now on sale. Item from WSMV.com (Original post Sep 25th 2010)
Louis Folds and Ethan Bortnick
Update: Ben adds that Jason Sudeikis from Saturday Night Live is coming down to lend moral support, and one of Ben’s favorite conductors, Francisco Noya, is also planning to be there. Noya is an associate professor of composition at Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music and is the resident conductor of the Rhode Island Symphony. He’ll also be joined on stage by nine-year-old piano sensation Ethan Bortnick (pictured at right with Ben’s son Louis), who has appeared on many national TV shows, at public events, and has his own YouTube channel.
Update 2: Drummer Sam Smith designed a poster for the event. Sam told me the good news that they sold out, raising money for flood relief in Nashville.