Ben Folds on symphonies and civilization

Posted on: June 17, 2014

In Monday’s (6/16) Houston Press, Matthew Keever reviews the Houston Symphony’s Saturday pops concert at Jones Hall featuring Ben Folds. “Folds grew up playing in symphony orchestras…. Saturday night, he returned to his roots with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, blending together upper-crust musicianship and instrumentation with the kind of informal atmosphere his concerts have become known for. Unreservedly, he likened his own performance to a wet T-shirt night, shamelessly admitting that his objective was to put young butts in seats at Jones Hall. ‘We need the symphony orchestra more than the symphony orchestra needs us,’ Folds said. ‘And if you need proof, go to any city in the country, or in the world, that doesn’t have a proper symphony orchestra and check it out … that place is crap.’ Raucous laughter and applause followed … and members of the orchestra were laughing just as hard and loudly as the crowd…. Folds told the crowd what the symphony meant to him as a person and as a musician. … ‘This is the manifestation of people working together in concert … and I’m a fan of civilization, civilization being built on people working together.’ ”

Posted June 17, 2014