Avi Avital


Avi Avital Photo credit: Decca/Harald Hoffmann

The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy Award, Avi Avital is one of the foremost ambassadors for his instrument. More than 90 contemporary compositions, 15 of them concertos, have been written for him, while his inspired reimaginings of music for other instruments include the arrangements heard on his 2015 ECHO Klassik Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording, Vivaldi. As the first mandolin soloist to become an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has made two other recordings for the label to date: his 2012 debut, featuring his own Bach concerto transcriptions, and the 2014 album Between Worlds, a cross-genre chamber collection exploring the nexus between classical and traditional music. Recent highlights include dates at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, London’s Wigmore and Royal Albert Halls, the Berlin Philharmonie, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, the Paris Philharmonie, and, with a live telecast on Arte, the Palais de Versailles. He is also a favorite on the international festival circuit, having appeared at the Aspen, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravenna, and Verbier festivals. Born in Be’er Sheva, Israel, Mr. Avital played in the mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his 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. He plays a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.