The morning after premiering his first-ever piano concerto with the Nashville Symphony, Ben Folds was back at Schermerhorn Symphony Center to perform for a very special audience - filled with Nashville-area high schoolers.
The piano-rocker’s performance was part of the Nashville Symphony’s Young People’s Concert series, offered free to all to public, private and home school students. It was an ideally open crowd for Folds’ new concerto - a 20-minute piece filled with sonic twists and surreal surprises. It includes a definite first for the Symphony: halfway through the piece, the musicians pull out their cellphones and trigger their ringtones.
After a Q&A session with the students in attendance, Folds brought The Tennessean backstage for a quick chat about putting his concerto together (which took him a full year), why he's not worried about the smartphone generation, and why he likes to be "a little bit frightened" when choosing the next chapter in his career.