"Avital was electrifying to watch and hear...[He] takes the listener to the brink of wildest expectation and then leaps over those boundaries."
- Boston Musical Intelligencer
Recognized by The New York Times for his "exquisitely sensitive playing" and "stunning agility," GRAMMY-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital is one of the world's most exciting and entrepreneurial young musicians. He is deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance and exciting new repertoire. Boston Musical Intelligencer has described Mr. Avital’s playing as, “electrifying to watch and hear…[He] takes the listener to the brink of wildest expectation and then leaps over those boundaries.”
An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, Mr. Avital released his first recording for the label entitled BACH – a disc of harpsichord and violin concerti arranged for mandolin. Listen magazine lauded, “in his hands, the light, quicksilver tone of the mandolin acts like a dash of Mediterranean sun, making the concertos more ebullient, feathery." A second Deutsche Grammophon release, entitled Between Worlds, is slated for January 2014. Mr. Avital is the first mandolin player to receive a GRAMMY nomination in the category "Best Instrumental Soloist" for his recording of Avner Dorman's Mandolin Concerto with Andrew Cyr and the Metropolis Ensemble.
In support of his BACH release, Mr. Avital was part of Deutsche Grammophon’s first Yellow Lounge performance in the U.S., was a guest at the 2013 SXSW Festival and embarked on a tour of the northeastern United States performing in New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. In the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Avital performed with the Colorado Symphony playing Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto, the San Diego Symphony with the world premiere performance of David Bruce’s Cymbeline and was in residency at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. He made his Aspen Music Festival debut under the baton of Nicholas McGegan in Paisiello’s Mandolin Concerto in E-flat major. In the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Avital makes his Carnegie Hall recital debut in Weill Recital Hall, joins the Vancouver Recital Society in his Vancouver Playhouse recital premiere and makes his Savannah Music Festival debut.
Avi Avital is internationally regarded for his performances at venues including Lincoln Center in New York, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, KKL Luzern, Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and Wigmore Hall in London. He has appeared as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and Berliner Symphoniker under the batons of Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Simon Rattle and Philippe Entremont, among others. He has collaborated extensively with artists such as clarinetist Giora Feidman, soprano Dawn Upshaw, trumpeter and composer Frank London and has been a guest at the Tanglewood, Luzern, Spoleto, and Ravenna summer music festivals, as well as for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project.
Mr. Avital has released numerous recordings in the disparate genres of klezmer, baroque and new classical music for the Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical BMG and Naxos labels and received Germany's coveted ECHO Prize for his recording with the David Orlowsky Trio. He has been profiled for radio stations around the world including NPR’s All Things Considered and Tiny Desk concert series, WNYC’s Soundcheck, Boston's WGBH and WQXR's Café Concert series.
Avi Avital is a graduate of the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini of Padova, Italy. He is the recent recipient of a generous grant from Salon De Virtuosi and will be honored at a ceremony in October 2013. He lives in Berlin.