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Music - Dance - Theatre - Visual Arts - Film

This season of An Appalachian Summer Festival 2020 will be presented online. Click here for the complete schedule and details. >

Ben Folds with the Winston-Salem Symphony

Jacomo Bairos, conductor
Event Info
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2019
Location: Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Time: 8:00pm
$50 Adult
$45 Pick 5 Discount (10% off)
$30 Student/Child

Pick 5 Discount
Purchase any 5 adult tickets and receive 10% off! Some restrictions apply. Discount only applied to purchases at the box office or by phone (800.841.ARTS).

Pianist, singer-songwriter and North Carolina native Ben Folds opens the 35th anniversary season of An Appalachian Summer Festival with an unforgettable evening of genre-bending music featuring the Winston-Salem Symphony. According to the Vibes Music Blog, “on stage, he is just a wonder to watch, as a pianist, as a lyricist, as a composer, a conductor and as a man.”

VIP Ticket Packages

A Ben Folds Meet & Greet Experience - $299 per package – VIP1

  • One (1) premium reserved seat in the first (5) rows with early venue entry to see Ben Folds live
  • Meet & greet/photo opportunity with Ben Folds
  • One (1) limited-edition photograph taken and autographed by Ben Folds
  • Invitation to the AMAA (Ask Me Anything….About Music) Master Class with Ben Folds*
  • One (1) limited-edition ‘Free Coffee’ mug
  • One (1) commemorative ticket
  • Crowd-free merchandise shopping
  • On-site concert host

*No piano experience will be necessary to enjoy the Master Class

AMAA (Ask Me Anything…About Music): A Ben Folds Master Class - $199 per package – VIP2

  • One (1) premium reserved seat in the first (15) rows with early venue entry to see Ben Folds live
  • Invitation to the AMAA (Ask Me Anything….About Music) Master Class with Ben Folds*
  • One (1) limited-edition ‘Free Coffee’ mug
  • One (1) commemorative ticket
  • Crowd-free merchandise shopping
  • On-site concert host

*No piano experience will be necessary to enjoy the Master Class. Please note, this package does not include a Meet & Greet with Ben.

Ben Folds

Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.

He’s created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album was a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.

For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and in 2017 was named as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

In addition to touring, Folds has just written his first book – “A Dream About Lightning Bugs – A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons” - described as a collection of interrelated essays and anecdotes about art, life, and music. The book’s release is slated for July 2019.

He is also no stranger to TV and film, from scoring soundtracks to having been featured for five seasons as a judge on NBC's critically-acclaimed a capella show "The Sing Off." He has also continued to appear in cameo and recurring roles on cable and network TV shows.

An avid photographer, Folds is a member of the prestigious Sony Artisans of Imagery, completed an assignment in 2017 as a photo editor for National Geographic, and was recently featured in a mini-documentary by the Kennedy Center's Digital Project on his photographic work.

An outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy funding in our nation's public schools, in 2016 Ben held the distinction as the only artist to appear at both national political conventions advocating for arts education, and has served for over five years as an active member of the distinguished Artist Committee of Americans For The Arts. He also serves on the board of its Arts Action Fund, and is chairman of its ArtsVote2020 campaign initiative.

Winston-Salem Symphony

The Winston-Salem Symphony has been bringing music to life in the Triad region for 72 years, offering not only the best in classical repertoire but also choral music, opera, ballet, popular music and more, and collaborating with such distinguished guests as Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, and Chris Botti. In 2020, the Symphony will name its fifth Music Director and will continue to chart a future focused on innovation, exploration, music education and world-class performance. The Winston-Salem Symphony especially celebrates the sounds of North Carolina, welcoming a diverse array of artists including Mandolin Orange, Rhiannon Giddens, Chris Thile, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Ricky Skaggs. For more information about the Winston-Salem Symphony, please visit, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @wssymphony.

Jacomo Rafael Bairos

Portuguese-American conductor Jacomo Bairos continues to redefine what a conductor can be and do in the 21st Century, challenging the preconceptions of orchestral repertoire, blurring the lines of genre, and integrating the orchestra into the broader community in holistic and organic new ways. Bairos is the 17th music director for the Amarillo Symphony, co-founder and artistic director for Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble, and performs regularly as a guest conductor with some of the world’s finest orchestras.

Bairos’s performances have been described as “thrilling" (Providence Journal), “inspirational and highly communicative” (Singapore Straits Times) and having a “splendid sense of musicality” (Knoxville Mercury). The New York Times hailed Nu Deco Ensemble as “chamber orchestra for the 21st century,” while Billboard called them “a sonically spellbinding experience.”

In the 2018-2019 season, Bairos appears with the San Francisco Symphony, makes subscription debuts with the Boston Pops, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and conducts the Wichita and Winston-Salem Wymphonies. Bairos also continues his longstanding relationship with the Atlanta and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra’s, and continued through 2018, directing the National Symphony Orchestras critically-acclaimed DeClassified Series, the In Your Neighborhood Initiative, and multiple Pops programs.

Bairos has appeared with the Detroit, Houston, North Carolina, Knoxville, and Alabama Symphony Orchestras, the Louisiana and Rhode Island Philharmonics and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.  In addition, he has made numerous returns to the Atlanta, St. Louis, San Diego, Florida, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Charlotte and Charleston Symphony Orchestras. International engagements include the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore, Leipzig and Oaxaca Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Orquesta Sinfónica’s do Porto Casa da Música (Poturgal), de Provincial de Santa Fe (Argentina), and de la Universidad de Guanajuato (Mexico).


The diverse range of Bairos’s artist collaborators include famed pianists Jeremy Denk, Garrick Ohlsson, Anne-Marie McDermott and mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges to name a few. Bairos closely collaborates with some of today’s most groundbreaking artists such as, Academy Award-winning composer/guitarist Bryce Dessner, Grammy winning artists Jacob Collier, Angeliqu Kidjo, Gregor Porter, as well as Kishi Bashi, Seu Jorge, Bilal, Cory Henry, and Jon Batiste.  Since 2014, Bairos has worked on numerous projects and collaborations with multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ben Folds.

A graduate of The Juilliard School, Bairos is an accomplished and award-winning tubist, having given master classes and concerts with major festivals and orchestras around the world. Bairos has performed, toured, and recorded with the New York Philharmonic as well as with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, and Seattle. He has held principal positions with orchestras in America and Spain, and from 2004-2007 Bairos was principal tuba for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Lisbon Portugal, Bairos is also a Yoga teacher, practitioner of Vipassana Meditation, and works and mentors with underserved children throughout the South Florida and Panhandle-Texas region. He makes his home in Miami, FL.


A Schaefer Popular Series Event

Series Sponsorship provided by Westglow Resort & Spa and Rowland’s Restaurant, made possible through the generosity of Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer.

Performance Sponsorship provided by:

  • Westglow Resort & Spa
  • Boone Area Visitors Bureau
  • Mast General Store
  • Goodnight Brothers
  • SkyBest Communications, Inc.
  • Wells Fargo