Avi Avital – Mandolino

foto_ AVI AVITAL 1

AVI AVITAL. Recognized by The New York Times for his “exquisitely sensitive playing” and “stunning agility”, Grammynominated mandolinist Avi Avital is one of the world’s most exciting and entrepreneurial musicians. He is deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance and commissioning new works in a range of genres.

Avi Avital is internationally regarded for his performances at venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, KKL Luzern, Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and Wigmore Hall in London. He has appeared as soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and Berliner Symphoniker under the batons of Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Simon Rattle and Philippe Entremont, amongst others. Avital has collaborated extensively with artists such as clarinettist Giora Feidman, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and trumpeter and composer Frank London. He has also been featured at the Tanglewood, Luzern, Spoleto, and Ravenna summer music festivals.

Avi Avital is the first mandolin player to receive a GRAMMY nomination in the category “Best Instrumental Soloist” (2010) for his recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto (Metropolis Ensemble/Andrew Cyr). He has won numerous competitions and awards including Germany’s ECHO Prize for his 2008 recording with the David Orlowsky Trio and the AVIV Competition (2007), the preeminent national competition for Israeli soloists.

Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel in 1978, he began learning the mandolin at the age of eight and soon joined the flourishing mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his charismatic teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padova, Italy where he studied the original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi.

Avital has released various recordings in the disparate genres of klezmer, baroque and contemporary classical music. He now records exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon and his debut release (2012) featured his own transcriptions of J. S. Bach Concertos for harpsichord and violin in arrangements for mandolin and orchestra. His next disc introduces chamber music compositions from Ernest Bloch and De Falla to traditional Bulgarian Folk Tunes and will be released in early 2014.

Recent highlights include Concerto performances at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Fest and Aspen Music Festival, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road workshop on a new composition by David Bruce, performances of “Avital meets Avital”, a cross-genre programme with New York-based jazz artist Omer Avital at the Musikfest Bremen and Jewish Culturte Days Festival in Berlin, and engagements with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Oxford Philomusica and Potsdam Kammerakademie.

Forthcoming engagements include Concertos with the Orchestre National de Montpellier, Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Potsdam Kammerakademie, Philharmonischer Kammerorchester Berlin, and tours with the Brandenburg Orchestra in Australia and with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra in Europe including Theatre de Chatelet in Paris and King’s Place in London. Forthcoming solo recitals include the Vancouver Recital Society and Carnegie Hall Presents (Weill Hall).

“Everything you never dreamt a mandolin could do…truly breathtaking invirtuosity and dedication.” Haaretz Daily