Avi Avital

Mandolin

“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 who on Wednesday gave a performance of 18th-century Italian concertos at Zankel Hall with the Venice Baroque Orchestra [...] was nothing short of electric.”

The New York Times, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, March 12th, 2015
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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 Heifetz for his incredible virtuosity. Passionate and “explosively charismatic” (New York Times) in live performance, he is the driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin: For more than two decades he has reshaped the history and the future of his instrument, playing it in the most prestigious halls all over the world. In addition to that, Avi Avital has expanded the mandolin repertoire not only with transcriptions of various pieces, but by commissioning over 100 works for the mandolin including concertos for mandolin and orchestra by Jennifer Higdon, Anna Clyne, Avner Dorman and Giovanni Sollima.

Highlights of the 2023/24 season see performances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Krzysztof Urbański, Vancouver Symphony and Tianyi Lu, Camerata Salzburg and Anja Bihlmaier as well as concerts with the Kammerakademie Potsdam alongside tours with Il Giardino Armonico with Giovanni Antonini, CHAARTS and the Venice Baroque Orchestra. Avi Avital will also be on tour with Hanzhi Wang (accordion) through North America and will play recitals with Anneleen Lenaerts (harp), Omer Klein (Jazz piano) and Brooklyn Rider. He is Artist-in-Residence at the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele and will come back to DeSingel Antwerp, Wigmore Hall London, Philharmonie Berlin, Rheingau Musik Festival and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

Avi Avital’s recent engagements include the Chicago, Seattle and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, Deutsches Symphonie- Orchester Berlin, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Israel Philharmonic, and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra working with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Alan Gilbert, Robert Spano, Osmo Vänskä, Yutaka Sado, Nicholas McGegan, Omer Meir Wellber and Ton Koopman.
„Here is a musician who recognises no boundaries except those of good taste, and who has the artistry to persuade listeners to follow him anywhere.”Gramophone
In 2023, Avi Avital launched his new venture, the “Between Worlds Ensemble” with a three-part residency at the Boulez Saal in Berlin and concerts in Bucharest, Warsaw, Hamburg, Ludwigshafen and Antwerp. The ensemble was formed to explore different genres, cultures and musical worlds focusing on different geographical regions and in its first year featured traditional, classical and folk music from the Iberian Peninsula, the Black Sea and South Italy.
Avi Avital’s versatility has led to features as “Portrait Artist” at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, BOZAR in Brussels, the Dortmund Konzerthaus (Zeitinsel) and as Artist-in-Residence at the Bodensee Festival and La Jolla Music Society California. He is a regular presence at major festivals such as Aspen, Salzburg, Hollywood Bowl, Tanglewood, Ravenna, MISA Shanghai, Cheltenham, Verbier, Lucerne, Bad Kissingen, Rheingau, Gstaad and Tsinandali.

An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Avi Avital’s seventh album “Concertos”, recorded with Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini, features mandolin concertos by Vivaldi, Hummel, Bach, Barbella and Paisiello. His album “The Art of the Mandolin” (2020) has been received with high praise and top reviews in The Times, Independent, Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine as well as the international press. Previous recordings “Bach” (2019), “Avital meets Avital” (2017), “Vivaldi” (2015), an album of Avital’s own transcriptions of Bach concertos (2012) and “Between Worlds” (2014) also received numerous awards.

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 studied at the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua with Ugo Orlandi. He plays on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.

2023 / 2024
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contact: Sonia Simmenauer

Images

Programme

Solo

Sollima: Prelude
Bach: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001

Bach: Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004

Avital: Kedma for retuned Mandolin (2006)

Duo I
with Olga Pashchenko (Harpsichord)

Scarlatti: Sonata for Mandolin and Basso continuo G major, K 91
Valentini: Sonata for Mandolin and Basso continuo in A minor
Beethoven: Andante con variazioni for Mandolin and Fortepiano D major, WoO 44/2

Vivaldi: Sonata for Mandolin and Basso continuo in C major, F.XVI
Bach: Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
Bach: Sonata for Flute and obbligato Harpsichord in E minor, BWV 1034

Duo II
with Omer Klein (Jazz Piano)

Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jazz compositions by Omer Klein, Israeli songs and improvisations – music is made here without boundaries…

Duo III
with Ksenija Sidorova (Accordion)

Kreisler: Prelude and Allegro – in the style of Gaetano Pugnani

Mozart: Sonata No. 21 in E minor KV 304 (original for Violin and Piano)

Stravinsky: Suite Italienne from “Pulcinella” (original for Violoncello and Piano)

***

Villa-Lobos: Bachiana Brasilieras No. 5 / Aria

de Falla: Siete canciones populares españolas

Bartók: Romanian folk dances

Budashkin: Concerto for Mandolin in A minor

Faith & Knowledge
with Maurice Steger, David Bergmüller, Hille Perl & Sebastian Wienand

Bach: from “Piano booklet for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach”

Bach: from “Music booklet for Anna Magdalena Bach”

Avi Avital & Between Worlds Ensemble

The long and versatile history of the mandolin makes it the perfect companion on this world tour. Like a chameleon, its tonal characteristics allow it to take on the sound of the most diverse regions.

The individual projects of the Between Worlds Ensemble concentrate on one geographical region at a time. In the process, completely new arrangements lead the music back to its traditional roots.

This interaction between musical cultures reveals similarities as well as differences – and can thus also become a springboard for panel discussions and educational projects: The audience is invited to reconsider their own understanding of borders, and perhaps to question whether they exist at all.

Between Worlds Ensemble is a project that will span two years with three programmes per season. In 2022 / 2023 these are Iberia, Black Sea, Italy.

Schedule

06/06/2024
19:00 h
Bonifatiuskirche Arle
Großheide, Germany
Avi Avital, Maurice Steger, Hille Perl, David Bergmüller, Sebastian Wienand
14/06/2024
18:00 h
Galerie Herrenhausen
Hannover, Germany
Avi Avital, Jan Willem de Vriend, NDR Radiophilharmonie
15/06/2024
19:30 h
Lessing Theater
Wolfenbüttel, Germany
Avi Avital, NDR Radiophilharmonie
04/07/2024
19:30 h
Avi Avital, Essener Philharmoniker, Diego Matheuz
05/07/2024
19:30 h
Avi Avital, Essener Philharmoniker, Diego Matheuz
06/07/2024
17:00 h
Schloss Elmau
Elmau/Klais, Germany
Avi Avital, Männerchor des Ensemble Rustavi
12/07/2024
19:00 h
Klosterkirche Eberbach
Eberbach, Germany
17/07/2024
19:30 h
Dom Meldorf
Meldorf, Germany
Asya Fateyeva, Avi Avital, Venice Baroque Orchestra
18/07/2024
19:30 h
Asya Fateyeva, Avi Avital, Venice Baroque Orchestra
30/07/2024
Église (Verbier)
Verbier, Switzerland
Avi Avital, Ksenija Sidorova
25/08/2024
19:30 h
Villa Seligmann
Hannover, Germany
Avi Avital, Omer Klein
27/08/2024
19:30 h
Rathaus (Obere Halle)
Bremen, Germany
Avi Avital, Omer Klein, Ismail Lumanovski

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

Contact

Sonia Simmenauer
Director
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 710