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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Contact Katja Szarka

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.
Avital has commissioned over 100 new works for the mandolin adding new concertos to the repertoire by Anna Clyne, Avner Dorman and Giovanni Sollima and chamber pieces by David Bruce and Elena Kats-Chernin amongst others. Later this season he will give the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Mandolin Concerto with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Krzysztof Urbanski.

An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, his sixth album for the label “The Art of the Mandolin” is released this season and follows recordings of solo Bach (2019), Avital meets Avital (2017) with oud/bassist Omer Avital, Vivaldi (2015), an album of Avital’s own transcriptions of Bach concertos and Between Worlds (2014), a cross-generic chamber collection exploring the nexus between classical and traditional music. He has also recorded for Naxos and SONY Classical.

„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.
The New York Times
New York Times • Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim • March 12th, 2015
Avital is highly in demand also as a concerto soloist and has performed with orchestras all over the world working with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Osmo Vänskä, Yutaka Sado, Jonathan Cohen, Nicholas McGegan, Omer Meir Wellber, Ton Koopman and Giovanni Antonini. Engagements include the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Orchestre National de Lyon, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Israel Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Residentie Orkest and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. He tours 2-3 times each season in the USA working with orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Les Violons du Roy, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and 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 studied at the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua 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.

2020 / 2021
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contact: Katja Szarka

Images

Programme

2021 / 2022
"ROOTS"
with Giovanni Sollima (Cello)

Trad. Sephardic: Yo en la prision

Trad. Turkish: Nacyem Nacyem

Trad. Macedonian: Ako Umran il Zaginam

Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata K. 89 in re minore

Giovanni Sollima: Improvisation / Cello solo

Giovanni Sollima: “Federico II” from “Viaggio in Italia”

Giovanni Sollima: “Alep Pesce” from “Il Bestiario di Leonardo”

Dario Castello: Quarta Sonata

Eliodoro Sollima: Tarantella Orientale (1939)

Trad. Bulgarian /A. Avital: Prelude and “Bucimis”

Girolamo Frescobaldi: Canzon Terza (Venezia, 1635)

Trad. Sephardic: Una ora

Trad. Salento: Fronni D’Alia

“ROOTS” is a mix of style and eras; from Klezmer to Sicilian Arbëreshë, from Sacred to Profane, from the dance to North Africa, from the music that has been part of their private. And improvisation.

Duo
with Omer Klein (Jazz piano)

Works by Omer Klein and Avi Avital

***

Bach: Partita No. 2 in D minor (orig. for violin solo) BWV 1004 in dialogue with jazz improvisation by Omer Klein

Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, jazz compositions by Omer Klein, Israeli songs and improvisation on them – there are no limits to what music can be played here.

Duo
with Anneleen Lenaersts (Harp)

Beethoven: Sonatina for Mandolin and Harpsichord in C minor WoO 43a

Beethoven: Adagio for Mandolin and Harpsichord WoO 43b

Beethoven: Sonatina for Mandolin and Harpsichord in C major WoO 44a

De Falla: Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas

Smetana: The Moldau (Harp Solo)

Bartók: Romanian folk dances

Schubert: Ständchen

Sollima: Prelude (Mandolin Solo)

Lavri: Three Jewish dances

 

Duo
with Olga Pashchenko (Harpsichord)

Scarlatti: Sonata for Mandolin and Basso continuo G major K91

Valentini: 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 C major F.XVI

***

Bach: Chaconne from Partita for Violin Solo no. 2 D minor BWV 1004 (arrangement for mandolin)

Bach: Sonata for Flute and obbligato Harpsichord in E minor BWV 1034 (arrangement for mandolin)

Duo
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

Between worlds
with Ksenija Sidorova (Accordion) and Itamar Doari (Percussion)

Works by Bach and Kreisler, Bartók’s Romanian folk dances, Georgian folk plays by Tsintsadze, Bachianas Brasileiras by Villa-Lobos, traditional Turkish, Israeli and Bulgarian plays.

Orchestral works
with Il Pomo D'Oro
1 - 19 December 2021

Naples and the mandolin are a synonym for each other. In this program Avi Avital and the Italian Baroque orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro present compositions from the 18th century by Piasello, Barbella and Scarlatti, as well as Neapolitan folklore music of the same period.

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 J.S. Bach, Luigi Boccherini, Colin Jacobsen, Matana Roberts, Philip Glass, Giovanni Sollima, John Zorn and Osvaldo Golijov.

Duo
with Omer Klein (Jazz Piano)

Music by J.S. 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.

Between 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.

Schedule

23.09.2020
19:00 Uhr
DE / Frankfurt am Main
Avi Avital, Ton Koopman , HR-sinfonieorchester
24.09.2020
20:00 Uhr
DE / Frankfurt am Main
Avi Avital, Ton Koopman, hr-Sinfonieorchester
04.10.2020
18:00 Uhr
DE / Saarbrücken
Avi Avital, Omer Klein

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

Katja Szarka
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 715
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713