The lanky singer with the high tenor and the bushy hairdo, Art Garfunkel has had half a century to figure almost everything out. His first go-round, in the 1960s, paired him with childhood pal Paul Simon; as half of the decade's most important two-part harmony duo, he sang praise for the dubious "Mrs. Robinson," mourned "The Sound of Silence," and gave name to the breezy joy of "Feelin' Groovy."
The pair's breakup at the height of their popularity in 1970 was tough news to take, pushing Garfunkel into film roles and an on-again/ off-again solo music career. With his tender vocals front and center, Garfunkel's sound found a sweet spot with a sort of highly arranged soft rock that focused less on the semantics of folk and more on his ability to float a lyric across a gorgeous melody. He has released 10 solo records, including a Christmas-themed collaboration with Amy Grant (1986), a children's album (1997), and a collection of classic 20th-century tunes (2007). This two-night stint with the North Carolina Symphony, which begins Friday, promises to be a retrospective celebration of all those years behind the microphone. —Ashley Melzer