Ben Folds first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed, platinum-selling Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording four studio albums in addition to a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances and a remix record. "Lonely Avenue," a collaboration with English novelist Nick Hornby, was recently released on Nonesuch Records. The album features music and vocals by Folds and lyrics by Hornby, with string arrangements by influential pop string arranger Paul Buckmaster (David Bowie, Elton John, Leonard Cohen). GQ UK says, "'Lonely Avenue' is a fantastic album... the melodies soar in time-honoured Folds style, the lyrics are subtle and lovely and deftly done."
In 2009, Folds served as a judge on NBC's a cappella competition "The Sing-Off," a role he will reprise this December on the show's second season. Folds previously collaborated with Hornby on a song for the Folds-produced William Shatner album "Has Been," which the Huffington Post called "one of the few records in recent memory that dared to tell the unvarnished truth about the human condition."
Folds also has a special relationship with symphony musicians, having performed with some of the world's greatest orchestras including a record-breaking sold-out Australian symphonic tour in 2006; repeatedly sold-out nights both at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra and at the Boston Pops with conductor Keith Lockhart; along with several full-house residencies at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.