Review: Milwaukee Symphony and Ben Folds in evening of songs, old and new

Posted on: February 25, 2020

“The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was about halfway through its concert … Wednesday night when a few people in the crowd began to yell, ‘Rock this (expletive),’ ” writes Piet Levy in Thursday’s (2/20) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Not exactly proper decorum for an MSO performance, but it was a familiar command for the man sitting center stage behind the grand piano, Ben Folds. … Upon request Wednesday, Folds created an entirely new version of ‘Rock This (Expletive)’—this time, with nearly 70 members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the guidance of conductor Yaniv Dinur … [Folds] brought a rare peek into the magic of composition, while the orchestra made Folds’ baroque pop songs more lush…. Folds’ cinematic ear for composition has set him apart from his peers…. His most powerful songs are his most sincere, such as ‘Brick,’ … or ‘The Luckiest.’ … They were both highlights Wednesday, and with the symphony, the emotional payoff was more profound…. ‘The symphony orchestra is really the artistic symbol of civilization nowadays…. people working together for something that is greater,’ Folds said…. ‘I do these things in hopes that people will come back and see what a symphony orchestra can really do.’ ”