Avi Avital

Grammy-nominated mandolin player Avi Avital is one of the world's most exciting and adventurous musicians.  “A musician who recognizes no boundaries except those of good taste and who has the artistry to persuade listeners to follow him anywhere.”Gramophone

"Without having played a sound, Avi Avital had the audience, and the orchestra, composed, concentrated and tuned in. Avital's mandolin sounds amazingly versatile...After two acclaimed encores Avital stretched his mandolin in the air like a trophy. A great triumph for a small instrument."NWZ Online

Deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin with several new commissions planned for the coming seasons, Avi Avital is widely admired for his virtuosic performances in classical, world and contemporary genres. 

Avi Avital has performed around the world, at venues including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall), Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonie, KKL Luzern, Vienna Konzerthaus, Dortmund Konzerthaus, Globe Theatre in London, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, to name a few.   Amongst his regular collaborators are Andreas Scholl, Giora Feidman, Dawn Upshaw and Richard Galliano and chamber music partners include the Danish, Dover, Enso and Vogler String Quartets.

Avital has released various recordings in the disparate genres of baroque, klezmer and contemporary classical music. He now records exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon and his debut release featured his own transcriptions of J S Bach Concertos for harpsichord and violin. His second disc “Between Worlds” introduced chamber music compositions from Ernest Bloch and De Falla to traditional Turkish and Bulgarian folk tunes and was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.   Vivaldi Concertos followed in 2015 with the Venice Baroque Orchestra with whom he embarked on an extensive tour of the USA which continues to Europe and South America in 2015/16.

While touring his classical repertoire in recitals and orchestral programming, Avi will be delving into the jazz and world music realm with his collaboration, Avital meets Avital, in the 2015-16 season. Avital meets Avital is a dialogue between two musicians who come from different worlds but share a common richness of musical heritage.  Avi Avital, combines his classical tradition with award-winning bass virtuoso and oud player, Omer Avital (no relation), an acclaimed jazz performer and composer.  In this show, these two musicians draw on the diverse influences of Moroccan and North African sounds, folkloric and classical traditions, Israeli harmonies and Mediterranean rhythms creating a musical melting pot where the finesse of chamber music meets the raw emotional energy of jazz.

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, the preeminent national competition for Israeli soloists (2007).   

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.  

Learn more about Avi Avital here