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This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.
Ben Folds has been described by Paste magazine, as meshing the "classical and pop music worlds in ways that few mainstream contemporary artists can hope to achieve." The pianist-singer-songwriter proved that to be true when he appeared with the North Carolina Symphony last year, and he returns to his home-state symphony on June 22 for a one-night-only show at the beautiful, outdoor Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.
This North Carolina Symphony Summerfest performance offers a laid-back concert experience, with the picturesque natural setting of Booth Amphitheatre. Concertgoers are welcome to bring picnics, wine and beer, lawn chairs, and blankets.
Ben Folds, who grew up in Winston-Salem, formed his pop-rock trio, the Ben Folds Five, in Chapel Hill in 1994. With smartly crafted lyrics and a unique sound that Folds has self-effacingly described as "punk rock for sissies," the group broke into the mainstream with their 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen.
Folds launched his solo career while the band was on hiatus in the early 2000s; between his work with the Ben Folds Five and his solo albums, he has created an enormous catalogue of music. His most recent album, So There, is a blend of pop songs and a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, and topped both the Billboard classical and classical-crossover charts.
A classically trained musician who studied piano and percussion at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, Folds has performed with symphony orchestras for the past decade. In 2017, he was named Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra.
Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of his generation. His appearance with the North Carolina Symphony will offer fans the experience of hearing his countless hit songs in a way that highlights the full extent of his musical background and artistry.
Summerfest is presented by UNC REX Healthcare and hosted by the Town of Cary. Summerfest is sponsored by First Citizens Bank.
North Carolina Symphony
Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 pm
North Carolina Symphony
About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina's cultural life. Each year, the North Carolina Symphony travels more than 18,500 miles throughout the state, presenting 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement events that are enjoyed by 250,0000 adults and schoolchildren in more than 90 North Carolina counties – in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. The Symphony's full-time professional musicians perform under the artistic leadership of Music Director Grant Llewellyn.
NCS's state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The Symphony's service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines, and Wilmington, as well as the Summerfest series at its summer home, the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. NCS brings some of the world's greatest talents to North Carolina and embraces home-state artists from classical musicians to bluegrass bands, creating live music experiences distinctive to North Carolina.
Committed to engaging students of all ages across North Carolina, NCS leads the most extensive education program of any symphony orchestra – serving nearly 70,000 students each year. In alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Symphony provides training and resources for teachers, sends small ensembles into classrooms, and presents full-orchestra Education Concerts that bring the fundamentals of music to life. Music Discovery for preschoolers combines music with storytelling, and at the middle and high school levels, students have opportunities to work directly with NCS artists and perform for NCS audiences.
NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art, and has presented 49 U.S. or world premieres in its history. In 2017, NCS appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as one of four orchestras chosen for the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras – an honor that recognized the Symphony's creative programming and innovative community partnerships.
The first state-supported symphony in the country, NCS performs under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. To learn more, visit ncsymphony.org.