Avi Avital

Mandolin

Whoever is able to turn the small, round mandolin into a star instrument must be a very charismatic magician indeed. He always seems incredibly present, but his orbit is a different one; one where many worlds are heard.
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Biography

The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy, Avi Avital has been compared to Andres Segovia for his championship of his instrument and to Jascha Heifitz for his incredible virtuosity. Passionate and “explosively charismatic” (New York Times) in live performance, he is a driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin repertory. More than 100 contemporary compositions have been written for him, 15 of them concertos including by Anna Clyne, Avner Dorman and Giovanni Sollima, which will be premiered in 2019/20. Enhanced by his infectious spirit of adventure and the warm rapport he fosters with his audience, Avital’s championship of his instrument is taking the mandolin centre stage.
An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has made four recordings for the label and the next one is already in the making. Recently released “Avital meets Avital” (2017) with oud/bassist, Omer Avital, explores their shared cultural heritage and brings their differing classical and jazz musical backgrounds into dialogue. Earlier releases featured original concerti and transcriptions by Vivaldi (2015) his own Bach concerto transcriptions (2012) and “Between Worlds” (2014), a cross-generic chamber collection exploring the nexus between classical and traditional music.

Avital’s inspired music-making has electrified audiences in performances around the world. He has performed with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tonhalle Zurich, Israel Philharmonic, Dresden Phiharmonic, Tasmania Symphony Orchestra, St Louis Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Osmo Vänskä, Ton Koopman and Giovanni Antonini. Performances have taken him to Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, London’s Wigmore and Royal Albert Halls, Berlin Philharmonie, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, Paris Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Palais de Versailles with a live telecast on TV Arte.
„The words “superstar” and “mandolinist” still look odd next to each other. Yet in the classical world they are starting to be joined with some frequency [...] Avi Avital [...] was nothing short of electric.”New York Times • Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim • March 12th, 2015
He is a favourite on the international festival circuit having appeared at the Aspen, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravenna, Cheltenham and Verbier Festivals, amongst others, and he was Portrait Artist at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in 2017, which involved over 20 performances of 10 different programmes. Artistic partners in a variety of genres with whom he collaborates include Andreas Scholl, Juan Diego Flórez, Dawn Upshaw, Giora Feidman, Ray Chen, David Greilsammer, Richard Galliano, Ksenija Sidorova, Itamar Doari and the Dover and Danish String Quartets. He was featured artist in a Zeitsinsel at the Dortmund Konzerthaus where he curated a weekend of programmes featuring classical, jazz and improvisations and a new collaboration with the Venice Baroque Orchestra and Georgian puppet theatre, Budrugana Gagra.

Highlights of his 2018/19 season include performances with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, Detroit Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and a tour of Europe with The Knights.

Born in Be’er Sheva in southern Israel, Avital 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 Padua, Italy, where he studied original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi. Winner of Israel’s prestigious Aviv Competition in 2007, Avital is the first mandolinist in the history of the competition to be so honoured. He plays on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.

Season 2018 / 2019
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Programme

2020 / 2021
String Quartet
with Brooklyn Rider (String Quartet)

Intense times wit Yo-Yo Ma´s Silk Road Ensemble and The Knights link Avi Avital to the unique string quartet Brooklyn Rider. In spring of 2021, they reunite with new works and arrangements for mandolin and string quartet at hand.

 

An evening celebrating fearless musical innovators through the shared interpretive lens of virtuoso mandolinist Avi Avital and the omnivorous string quartet Brooklyn Rider.

 

New commissions, arrangements, and interpretations of music by JS Bach, Luigi Boccherini, Colin Jacobsen, Matana Roberts, Philip Glass, Giovanni Sollima, John Zorn and Osvaldo Golijov.

Duo
with Omer Klein (jazz piano)

Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jazz compositions by Omer Klein, Israeli songs and improvising on it – this is unlimited music-making.

Duo
with Ksenija Sidorova (accordion)

Kreisler: Prelude and Allegro – in the style of Gaetano Pugnani Mozart: Sonata No. 21 in E minor, K 304
Stravinsky: Suite Italienne from “Pulcinella”
Bach: Chaconne from the Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 Rachmaninov: “Vocalise”, Op. 34 No. 14

Kusiakov: “Autumn Landscapes” Budashkin: Concert for Mandolin in A minor

Orchestral
with Il Pomo d'Oro orchestra

Naples and the mandolin are synonymous to each other. In this program Avi Avital and the Italian Baroque Orchestras Il Pomo d’Oro will present original music for mandolin from 18th century Naples, along side Napolitain Folklore music form the same time.

The program will includes pieces by: Domenico Scarlatti, Emanuelle Barbella, Giovanni Paisiello and more.

Betwen Worlds
with Ksenija Sidorova (accordion) and Itamar Doari (percussion)

Works by Bach and Kreisler, Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances, Georgian Folk Tunes by Sulkhan Tsintsadze, Bachianas Brasileiras by Villa-Lobos, traditional Turkish, Israeli and Bulgarian music.

2019 / 2020

Schedule

31.05.2019
17:30 Uhr
Bürgenstock, CH / Bürgenstock Kapelle
Avi Avital
01.06.2019
17:30 Uhr
Bürgenstock, CH / Bürgenstock Kapelle
Avi Avital
02.06.2019
16:00 Uhr
Luzern, CH / Matthäuskirche
Avi Avital
11.06.2019
Elmau /Klais, DE / Schloss Elmau
Avi Avital
12.06.2019
Elmau /Klais, DE / Schloss Elmau
Avi Avital
24.07.2019
20:00 Uhr
Rendsburg, DE / Christkirche
Avi Avital, Maurice Steger, Sebastian Wienand, David Bergmüller, Hille Perl
25.07.2019
20:00 Uhr
Plön, DE / Nikolaikirche
Avi Avital, Maurice Steger, Sebastian Wienand, David Bergmüller, Hille Perl
02.08.2019
21:30 Uhr
Sisteron • Festival International "Les Nuits de la Citadelle", FR / Citadelle de Sisteron
Avi Avital, Nuria Rial, Konsort des Kammerorchester Basel, Daniele Caminiti (TBC), Chauvin Julien
04.08.2019
17:00 Uhr
St Moritz • Engadin Festival, CH / Hotel Laudinella
Avi Avital, Nuria Rial, Konsort des Kammerorchester Basel, Daniele Caminiti (TBC), Chauvin Julien
05.08.2019
19:30 Uhr
Zweisimmen, CH / Evangelisch Reformierte Kirche
Avi Avital, Nuria Rial, Konsort des Kammerorchester Basel, Daniele Caminiti (TBC), Chauvin Julien
05.09.2019
Bremen, /
Avi Avital, Giovanni Sollima
13.09.2019
19:00 Uhr
Königslutter, DE / Kaiserdom
Avi Avital, Aydar Gaynullin
16.09.2019
19:00 Uhr
Neuwied, DE / Schloß Engers
Avi Avital, Villa Musica
17.09.2019
Landau, DE / Jugenstil Festhalle
Avi Avital, Villa Musica
19.09.2019
Eisenach • ACHAVA Festspiele, DE / Georgenkirche
Avi Avital, Thüringer Bach Collegium

Discography

Avital meets Avital
Omer Avital
Zamzama
Lonely Girl
Ana Maghrebi
Ballad For Eli
Maroc
Hijazain

Avi Avital
Avi's Song
Prelude

Moshe Wilenski
The Source And The Sea (Balada Al Maayan Ve`Yam)

Omer Avital - Double bass, Oud
Jonathan Avishai - Piano
Itamar Doari - Percussion

Vivaldi
Antonio Vivaldi
Concerto in A minor, RV 356
Concerto in D major, RV 93
Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425
Largo from Concerto in C major, RV 443
Trio Sonata in C major, RV 82
Concerto in G minor, RV 315, "Summer" from "The Four Seasons"

Juan Diego Florez - Tenor
Mahan Esfahani - Harpsichord
Ophira Zakai - Lute
Patrick Sepec - Cello
Venice Baroque Orchestra

Between Worlds

Tsintsadze: Sachidao; Miniatures on Georgian Folk Themes
Bartók: 6 Romanian Dances
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
Piazzolla: Fugy y misterio
Falla: Siete canciones populares espanolas
Monti: Csardas
Bloch: Nigun from Baal Shem
Chaim: Freilach Ron (klezmer improvisation)
Dvorak: Vivace ma non troppo from String Quartet No. 12
Traditionals: Bucimis; Hen Ferchetan

Richard Galliano - Accordion
Giora Feidman - Clarinet

Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Concerto for Mandolin and Strings BWV 1041, 1052, 1056
Sonata BWV 1034 for Mandolin and Basso Continuo

Kammerakademie Potsdam

Videos

Avital meets Avital Trailer (Live in Bremen)
Avi Avital - Vivaldi (Trailer)
Duo Avi Avital & Ksenija Sidorova - BR feature