Monday, October 6, 2014

Singer-songwriter Ben Folds Performs New Piano Concerto with the Grand Rapids Pops, Oct. 18

Singer-songwriter and pop icon +Ben Folds will share the +DeVos Performance Hall stage with the Grand Rapids Pops for a high-energy performance on Saturday, October 18 at 8:00 p.m. Associate Conductor John Varineau will lead the performance of Folds’ new piano concerto and fan favorites arranged for orchestra. “Acura/ELS Presents Ben Folds” is part of the Nestlé Gerber SymphonicBoom Series that offers outside-the-box experiences for all ages.

A modern day piano man, Folds is known for his witty lyrics, infections alt-pop melodies and charming storytelling. The concert will open with Ben Folds’ Concerto for Piano, a co-commission by the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Ballet and Minnesota Orchestra. In an interview with Nashville Scene, Folds described his concerto as “proudly and overtly derivative.”

Listeners of the three movement, 21-minute-long concerto will hear hints of Prokofiev, Gershwin and Ravel among Folds’ own idiosyncratic piano style. Folds and the orchestra will then perform songs from Ben Folds Five, the alternative rock band Folds fronted, including “Brick” and “Narcolepsy.” Fans will also enjoy songs like “Annie Waits,” “Zak and Sara” and “Not the Same” from Rockin’ the Suburbs, Folds’ first solo album after leaving Ben Folds Five.

Members of MySymphony360, the Grand Rapids Symphony’s membership program for ages 21-35, will meet-and-greet with Ben Folds following the performance at a members-only backstage reception. For information on how to join MySymphony360, visit

Tickets start at $32 and are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available by phone in the evening and on Saturday by calling 616.885.1241. Tickets are available at the DeVos Place Box Office, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster, 800.982.2787, online at or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee.

About the Grand Rapids Symphony
The +Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director David Lockington, ten concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 170,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. The Symphony also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony please visit

This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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