On Saturday, November 27, Ben Folds will perform "Keys to Music City," a benefit for the Nashville Symphony at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Jackson Hall. Led by guest conductor Francisco Noya, the orchestra will perform with Folds, and a portion of proceeds from the concert will also go to two local volunteer firefighting organizations: the Williamson County Rescue Squad and Pleasant View Volunteer Fire Department.
Folds' only appearance in the Nashville area this year, "Keys to Music City" will conclude his U.S. tour in support of Lonely Avenue, his highly anticipated collaboration with eminent English novelist Nick Hornby, which will be released September 28. GQ magazine calls Lonely Avenue "A fantastic album. The melodies soar in time-honored Folds style; the lyrics are subtle and lovely and deftly done."
A Nashville resident, Folds says he wants to help the Nashville Symphony, which sustained an estimated $40 million in losses after its concert hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, was severely damaged by flooding in May. "The flood happened in a matter of hours, but digging out of it will take years," he says. "This concert is an effort to help keep the recovery in the front of our minds and to help restore our great symphony hall. Of course, a donation to our first responders like our volunteer firemen is in order too, because without them the Middle Tennessee community would have lost so much more."
Folds has a special relationship with the Nashville Symphony, having first performed with the orchestra in September 2008. Over the past five years, he has also performed with some of the world's greatest orchestras, including a record-breaking sold-out tour in Australia and sold-out nights with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, the Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart, and at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
Folds first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed platinum-selling Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording three studio albums in addition to a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances and a remix record. In 2009, he was featured as a judge on NBC's a cappella competition The Sing-Off, a role he will reprise later this year on the show’s second season.
Conductor Francisco Noya has served as Resident Conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for 13 seasons. A native of Venezuela, he previously served as Assistant Conductor of the Caracas Philharmonic and as Music Director of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra in Boston. He currently serves as a member of the conducting faculty of the Berklee College of Music.
Tickets for Folds' November 27 concert with the Nashville Symphony start at $55. A special ticket package — limited to two people — includes two seats on the stage and a post-concert meet-and-greet with the artist. In addition, there will be a limited number of ticket packages including the post-concert meet-and-greet. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. September 24, preceded by a special pre-sale to Nashville Symphony season ticket holders and Ben Folds fan club members at 10 a.m. September 17.