Big Hassle Media
Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.
He’s spent over a decade sharing the stage with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras – from Sydney, Australia to the Kennedy Center, performing his pop hits and his critically acclaimed concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
For five seasons he was a judge on the popular NBC series “The Sing Off,” which catapulted the art of a cappella into the national spotlight, and helped launch the careers of numerous a cappella groups.
Throughout his career, Folds has created an enormous body of genre-bending musical art that includes pop albums as the front man for Ben Folds Five, multiple solo rock albums, as well as unique collaborative records with artists from Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, to Weird Al and William Shatner. His most recent album is a blend of pop and classical original works, in part recorded with the revered classical sextet yMusic that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.
Beginning this Fall, Folds will be back to pound pianos again with cross country solo touring reminiscent of his earliest solo tours, where he defied skeptics by delivering a high energy rock performance using the intimacy of just a piano.
In addition to his self-described love of performing and making music “for humans,” Folds is also an avid photographer, and is a member of the distinguished Sony Artisans of Imagery.
Folds is also an advocate for music education and music therapy as a member of Artist Committee of the Americans For The Arts, and he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony.
BEN FOLDS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM, SO THERE, SEPTEMBER 11
NPR PREMIERED FIRST SONG TODAY
PRE-ORDERS BEGIN JULY 17
Ben Folds has announced the release of his landmark new album, So There. Hitting stores on September 11, the album is the multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter/producer’s first for his new label New West Records, and showcases eight new pop songs recorded and arranged in collaboration with yMusic — a critically acclaimed NYC-based sextet — along with the debut recording of Folds’ 21-minute “Concerto For Piano and Orchestra,” with the Nashville Symphony conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero. Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and his own historic Grand Victor Sound (aka RCA Studio A) in Nashville, the album is marked by its forward-thinking studio craft and creative spontaneity. NPR premiered the first song, “Capable of Anything,” from the album earlier today.
Bob Boilen at NPR said: “Ben Folds’ music has taken another turn, firmly embracing strings and chamber music yet still maintaining a passion for his love of pop… I find this to be the most lovable piece of music I’ve ever heard from Ben Folds.”
“I don’t recall ever being quite so excited about an album I’m making,” Folds said. “I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or not. It’s just that we don’t often get to make a record that we’ve never heard before. The arrangements you will hear on this record are straight up rock – not ornamentation. The odd instrumentation – piano, cello, viola, violin, flute/piccolo/alto flute, trumpet/French horn, and clarinet/bass clarinet, with no bass and more often than not, no drums – is yielding something that I can’t wait to release. It’s a pop record, if that’s what you call what I write.”
The three-movement Concerto, which premiered in March of 2014, was initially conceived as the result of a commission from the Nashville Ballet along with the Nashville Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, to create original music for a brand new ballet. While Folds has spent many years performing in regional symphony halls, challenging the perceptions and traditional constraints in the classical world, the creation of the concerto still presented a new challenge for him. What he ended up creating is a playfully modern, nuanced and beautifully dynamic work of art.
After having spent much of 2014 performing the Concerto with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras around the globe, Folds was eager to continue exploring new sonic landscapes, but with the feeling and flexibility of playing with a “band.” Meeting and recording with yMusic became the bridge between the classically themed Concerto and the modern chamber rock songs on So There.
Folds and yMusic have been touring to adoring crowds all spring, and just appeared at Bonnaroo on June 12, and will perform at The Greek in Los Angeles, CA on June 27. More touring is currently being planned for the fall and 2016. For Ben Folds touring info go to: www.benfolds.com
Ben Folds first found international success as the leader of the Ben Folds Five. His subsequent solo career has seen the release of multiple studio albums, a pair documenting his renowned live performances, a remix collection, music for film and TV, an all a capella record, as well as numerous collaborations with artists spanning Sara Bareilles to William Shatner.
A Nashville resident, Folds owns and operates Grand Victor Sound. The studio, formerly known as RCA Studio A, is the multi-platinum artist’s creative hub, where he composes, collaborates, produces and records his genre-defying work, as well as that of other artists. Folds has earned universal respect and praise for his insight as judge on five highly rated seasons of NBC’s a capella competition series, The Sing Off. In addition, he has made cameo appearances in a variety of film and TV projects, including a role on NBC’s Community.
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA NAMES BEN FOLDS
AS ARTISTIC ADVISOR
IN NEWLY CREATED ROLE, FOLD SERVERS AS CURATOR, COLLABORATOR, MENTOR, CONSULTANT, AND PERFORMER THROUGH 2019 -2020 SEASON
NSO DECLASSIFIED SERIES EXPANDS IN 2017 – 2018 TO INCLUDE
NEW “BEN FOLD PRESENTS” CONCERTS
(WASHINGTON) – The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) announced that appointment of multi-faceted composer/musician Ben Folds as its first-ever Artistic Advisor, a post he will retain through the 2019-2020 season.
In this new role, Folds will perform, collaborate, and consult with the NSO across its varied offerings, ranging from classical to popular, youth, community, and contemporary culture programs. Folds who is known for defying labels and definition, will also curate NSO concerts and presentation that bring together musicians from all genres and styles of music to collaborate with NSO and create new experiences for audiences and performers alike.
“I’m honored to serve in the new role with NSO,” said Ben Folds. “I’m excited about the possibilities – from music education to concerts – putting my favorite current musical artists together with our nation’s capitol’s symphony orchestra at the Kennedy Center to make something new. I’m looking forward to taking this creative journey together. ”
“We are delighted to welcome Ben Folds into the NSO’s artistic family,” said Nigel Boon, the NSO’s Director of Artistic planning. “Our incoming music director, Gianandrea Noseda, and our Principal Pops Conductor, Steven Reineke are both eager to work with Ben and find ways to collaborate that expand what our orchestra does and to redefine how it engages with our audiences. Having Ben’s fresh perspective will enhance our offering and inspire us all to think more creatively about music and orchestras in the 21st century.”
Fold’s involvement with the NSO will be evident immediately. On June 2 and 3, he joins Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large soprano Renée Flemming in the Kennedy Center’s and National Institute of Health’s Sound Health concert and events, which explore the effects of music on the brain, specifically through performance and music therapy which Fold has championed for years. he has also curated and will host/perform with the NSO on June 30 in the final DECLASSIFIED performance of the current season, which features composer/producer/guitarist/singer Blake Mills and Cuban R&B/Hip Hop artist Danay Suárez.
Over the coming seasons, Folds will help curate the NSO’s DECLASSIFIED events which, beginning in 2017-2018, will feature two styles of program: a continuation of DECLASSIFIED concerts that offer shorter performances of classical repertoire; and the new DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents concerts, at which Folds will merge artists from multiple genres with the NSO to create unique live music experiences.
Next season, the classical format DECLASSIFIED concerts are slated for November 3, 2017 and May 18, 2018. The new DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents concerts are scheduled for January and June, 2018.
All DECLASSIFIED programs also feature pre- and post- concert events.
As Artistic Advisor, Folds will also curate the NSO’s Young People Concerts and accompany Family Concerts, a reimagining of Leonard Bernstein’s famous series as part of the celebration of Bernstein’s centennial in 2017-2018. In future seasons, he will lend his talent as a mentor to young musicians through the NSO’s education programs with future plans to compose new works for young musicians and ensembles as well as to engage further with the D.C. community through participation in the NSO’s annual In Your Neighborhood events.
In additional to his own performances and creative collaborations with the NSO, Ben Folds hopes to forge more connection across the Kennedy Center’s programs during his tenure, such as pairing the NSO with a comedy or other presentation, participating in the annual Arts Summit, joining NSO musicians or other Kennedy Center artist in D.C. public school visits, or curating a collaborative NSO program at Wolf Trap.
Fold’s involvement with the NSO and Kennedy Center began several years ago when he participated in a master class segment and performed as part of American Voices, performed in the NSO’s first-ever DECLASSIFIED concert in 2015, and, most recently, performed his piano concerto as part of Ballet Across America.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – DECLASSIFIED
Performance Dates Types Repertoire
November 3, 2017 DECLASSIFIED
NationalSymphony Orchestra- Leonard Slatkin, conductor
The Rite of Spring
January 2018 DECLASSIFIED:
Ben Folds Presents NationalSymphony Orchestra – Guest artists TBD
May 18, 2018 DECLASSIFIED NationalSymphony Orchestra -GianandreaNoseda, conductor
June 2018 DECLASSIFIED:
Ben Fold Presents NationalSymphony Orchestra – Guest artist TBD
ABOUT BEN FOLDS
Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.
He’s spent over a decade sharing the stage with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras – from Sydney, Australia to the Kennedy Center – performing his pop hit and his critically acclaimed concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
For five season he was a judge on the popular NBC series The Sing Off, which catapulted the art of a cappella into the national spotlight, and helped launch the careers of numerous a cappella groups.
Throughout his career, Folds has created an enormous body of genre-bending musical art that includes pop albums as the front man for Ben Folds Five, multiple solo rock albums as well as unique collaborative records with artist from Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, to Weird Al and William Shatner. His most recent album is a blent of pop and classical original works that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.
Folds continue to pound pianos with cross county solo touring reminiscent of his earliest solo tour, where he defied skeptics by delivering a high energy rock performance using the intimacy of just a piano. His tour schedule also includes a series of orchestral performances where he will showcase his piano concerto and pop hits.
In addition to his self-described love of performing and making music “for humans,” Folds is an avid photographer and a member of the distinguished Sony Artisan of Imagery. he also recently served as a guest photo editor for National Geographic’s Your Shot global initiative.
Folds is also an advocate for music education and music therapy as a member of Artist Committee of the Americans for the Arts, and he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The 2016-2017 season marks the NSO’s 86th and its seventh and final led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, also the Music Director of the Kennedy Center. Found in 1931, the Orchestra has throughout its history, been committed to the artistic affiliate of the John F. Kennedy education. In 1986 the National Symphony become an artistic affiliate of the John F, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, where it has performed a full season of subscriptions since the Center opened in 1971. The National Symphony Orchestra regularly participates in events of national and international importance, including performances for state occasions presidential inauguration and official holiday celebrations. Its regularly televised holiday appearance for Capitol Concerts and local radio broadcast on WETA makes the NSO one of the most-heard orchestras in the country.
The Orchestra itself numbers 96 musicians who perform approximately 150 concerts each year. Theres include classical subscription series, pops concerts, summer performances at Wolf Trap and on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, chamber music performances in the Terrace Theater and on Millennium Stage, and an extensive educational program, with performances designed for ages three years and up, audiences engagement activities as well. Additionally, the NSO’s community engagement projects are nationally recognized, including NSO In Your Neighborhood which comprises a week of approximately 50 performances in school, churches, community center and other neighborhoods venues) and NSO Sound Health, which has taken the NSO to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Children’s Inn at NIH, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Children’s National Medical Center, and Inova Health System. Career development opportunities include the NSO Youth Fellowship Programs and its Summer Music Institute.
For more Information, visit nationalsymphony.org.
David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriter of the NSO.
The NSO Music Director Chair is generously endowed by Victoria and Roger Sant.
Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor of Performances for Young Audiences.
Washington Gas is proud sponsor of the NSO Family Concerts.
Additional support for the NSO Family Concerts is provided by The Clark CharitableFoundation; Macy’s, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; as endowment from the Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation; the U.S. Department of Education and the Woman’s Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra.
Support for Renée Fleming’s initiatives at the Kennedy Center is provided by Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker and Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan.
The National Symphony Orchestra’s Community Engagement Program is made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Irene Pollin.
Major support for NSO Sound Health is provided by Aetna and The Orlebeke Foundation.
Additional support for NSO Sound Health is provided by The Anne and Ronald Abramson Family Foundation, The Clark Charitable Foundation, the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and Dr. Annette U. Rickel of the Annette Urso Rickel Foundation.
Kennedy Center education and related artistic programmings is made through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.
For more information about the NSO, visit nationalsymphony.org.
For more information about the Kennedy Center, visit kennedy-center.org.
Patrons 30 and under and active-duty member of the military are invited to join the Kennedy Center’s MyTix Program for special discounts offers and chances to win free tickets. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org/mytix.