Ben Folds composes “Keys to Music City” fundraising campaign

October 10, 2011

Ben Folds, singer-songwriter and star of NBC’s The Sing-Off, joined Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, today to formally announce a new fundraising campaign called “Keys To Music City” that will benefit the Symphony and its music programs throughout the community.


Standing in the historic RCA Studio A on Music Row where Folds creates, produces and engineers his music as well as music for other world renowned artists, Ben Folds and Giancarlo Guerrero presented keys from Folds’ former tour grand piano that was damaged in of May of 2010 when flood waters deluged Soundcheck Nashville storage facility where it had been stored.


Folds said he wanted to give new life to the piano on which he had performed around the world by salvaging, autographing and then donating each key to the Symphony to help kickoff a “Keys to Music City” campaign that will benefit the Symphony’s many community initiatives, including providing instruments to students in Nashville’s public school music programs.


"I’m honored to play a small role in supporting the many incredible things our Nashville Symphony does to inspire, educate and encourage creativity through music,” says Folds.  “I'm grateful that these keys will not go to waste, but will instead continue to create music for all ages.  It’s my hope that other artists throughout our creative community will join in offering up autographed keys or instruments of their own to help support the Symphony’s ongoing fund raising efforts."

Autographed keys will be available to the public for a minimum donation of $88 each. Personally signed by Folds, these collectible keys can be purchased online at All funds raised will go to the Symphony’s Annual Campaign, which supports the orchestra’s artistic and educational programs. This isn’t the first time that Folds has used his talents in support of the Nashville Symphony. In November 2010, he played a benefit concert to help raise money for the orchestra, whose concert hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, sustained nearly $40 million in damages in the flood.

“Music touches everyone, it is part of our DNA!,” said Guerrero. “To live and work in such a creative community and to have the support of such a talented and passionate musician like Ben Folds is an honor. Nashville Symphony brings quality music education and artistry to the city of Nashville, and Ben’s commitment to Nashville Symphony with this creative and ambitious project enhances everything our organization provides for the people of Nashville.”

This campaign is timed with the launch of Folds’ new album - The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective... - which was also inspired by his personal experience in the historic 2010 Nashville flood. In the flood’s aftermath, he assembled the collection after sifting through archival tapes that had been damaged at Soundcheck Nashville. The album is set for release on Tuesday, October 11, on the Sony Legacy label.  For more details, visit



The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its recordings and innovative programming. With more than 140 performances annually, the 85-member orchestraoffers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, children’s concerts and community engagement programs. The Symphony will be premiering a commission by Terry Riley at Carnegie Hall in May 2012, as part of the Spring for Music festival. As a national and international ambassador for Tennessee, the Nashville Symphony has received far-reaching acclaim for its 19 recordings on Naxos, making the ensemble one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. These recordings have receiveda total of13 GRAMMY® nominations and six GRAMMY® Awards.