Not Only Will Live Symphonic Music Get You Laid, But Your City Is Crap If You Don’t Have An Orchestra

Adaptistration People 076In a recent interview with The Evening Standard’s David Smyth, singer-songwriter Ben Folds recently expanded on his previous sentiments that live orchestra concerts are an ideal vehicle to maximize verbing the adjective noun by declaring “there are two kinds of cities: those that have symphony orchestras and those that are crap.”

There are two kinds of cities: those that have symphony orchestras and those that are crap.” Ben Folds is on stage addressing the people of San Diego, whose city is not crap. At 48, the musician from North Carolina, known for peppering emotional, often beautiful piano-rock songs with a heavy dose of sly wit, is daring to step into the lofty world of classical music.

The rest of Folds’ interview is every bit as entertaining as it is genuine. He doesn’t come across as preaching to the choir and his comment above is a good example of reinforcing the value of live symphonic music events without going treading into the old-school “great art” territory.

If nothing else, it is certainly a welcome respite from the doom and gloom conversations that punctuate labor disputes and serves as a good reminder that in order to beat current and future problems, you have to remain genuinely motivated and excited about what this field provides.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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2 thoughts on “Not Only Will Live Symphonic Music Get You Laid, But Your City Is Crap If You Don’t Have An Orchestra”

  1. If Ben is bending his role and influence to include classical music he should learn that in that genre, shock value doesn’t include sophomoric profanity and slang in public interviews.

  2. Although I can see your point of view, I don’t believe it is warranted in Fold’s case. I don’t get any sense that his words were selected for shock value; they are using a vernacular he’s comfortable with, his message is both succinct and clear, and his intent is quite genuine.

    Being a gentleman has nothing to do with vocabulary, instead, it has more to do with being at ease in one’s own skin.

    In the end, his music will stand on its own merits and I find his interviews refreshing.

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