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Thursday September 7, 2023

Singer-Songwriter-Pianist Ben Folds Returns to Orchestra Hall, Presenting Music from New Album with the Minnesota Orchestra

Folds, a pop sensation and Emmy-nominated composer, has been a frequent guest of the Orchestra for more than a decade.

Widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of his generation, Ben Folds first appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2009. In October, he makes his return to Orchestra Hall—a much-anticipated stop on the tour of his sixth studio album, What Matters Most, which was released in June 2023 and is the singer-songwriter’s first album in eight years. The ensemble will be led in these concerts by Enrico Lopez-Yañez, the principal pops conductor of the Nashville Symphony and Pacific Symphony, as well as principal conductor of Dallas Symphony Presents.

The program will be performed at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, October 6, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, October 7, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $63 to $118.

Folds has been actively making genre-bending music for more than three decades as both a solo artist and the leading member of Ben Folds Five, a power pop trio fronted by Folds on vocals and piano. He has recorded multiple rock albums and collaborated with the likes of Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles, Jon Batiste, “Weird Al” Yankovic and William Shatner. 

As comfortable in the world of classical music as pop music, Folds has performed extensively in the past decade with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and serves as the organization’s first-ever artistic advisor. He has performed his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra—a co-commission by the Minnesota Orchestra and the Nashville Ballet—at Orchestra Hall; the concerto was featured in his So There album that topped both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts in 2015. He has brought his eclectic catalog to each of his previous performances with the Orchestra.


About Ben Folds

Emmy-nominated performer and composer Ben Folds has created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums and numerous collaborative records. His newest album, What Matters Most, was released in June 2023, while his other recent releases include an album blending pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. For over a decade he has performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and he currently serves as the first-ever artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. In 2019 Folds released his first book—a collection of interrelated essays, anecdotes and lessons about art, life and music— which debuted as a New York Times bestseller. He is currently hosting a podcast series spinoff of his book entitled Lightning Bugs: Conversations with Ben Folds. In addition to solo rock and orchestral touring, he continues to appear in various film and television guest-starring roles. More: benfolds.com.

About Enrico Lopez-Yañez

Enrico Lopez-Yañez is the newly appointed principal conductor of Dallas Symphony Presents and principal pops conductor of the Pacific Symphony. In addition, he serves as principal pops conductor of the Nashville Symphony and is artistic director and co-founder of Symphonica Productions, LLC. He is quickly establishing himself as one of the nation’s leading conductors of popular music and becoming known for his unique style of audience engagement. Also an active composer-arranger, he has been commissioned to write for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Houston Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Omaha Symphony, and has had his works performed by orchestras including the symphonies of Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle and Utah, as well as the National Symphony, among others. This season he will collaborate with artists including Ben Rector, Cody Fry, Trisha Yearwood, Tituss Burgess, Jefferson Starship, Portugal. The Man, Aida Cuevas and Lila Downs, and will appear with the Philadelphia Orchestra and National Symphony as well as the symphonies of Detroit, Colorado and San Diego. More: enricolopezyanez.com.

Live at Orchestra Hall


with the Minnesota Orchestra


Friday, October 6, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Saturday, October 7, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Ben Folds, vocals and piano

Enrico Lopez-Yañez, conductor


Tickets: $63 to $118


Tickets and subscription packages can be purchased now at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

Sponsored by The Current.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.