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Grammy®-nominated mandolin virtuoso Avi Avitalhas been acclaimed for his “exquisitely sensitive playing” and “stunning agility” by the New York Times, while Israel’s Haaretz has described Avital’s playing as “everything you never dreamt a mandolin could do . . . truly breathtaking in virtuosity and dedication.” Avi Avital was born in 1978 in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba (Be’er Sheva). 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, the Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. After attending the Jerusalem Academy of Music, Avital went to Italy, where he studied at the Cesare Pollini Conservatory of Padua with Ugo Orlandi, “a real mandolin professor, with whom I learned the original repertoire of the mandolin, rather than the transcriptions of violin music I’d specialized in until then”.

Finding this music “beautiful, but rather limited”, Avital faced what he has described as something of an identity crisis: the music he most loved to play was not necessarily that written for his own instrument. Eventually he found his true direction: “One of my aims is to redevelop and redefine the mandolin and its repertoire”, he has declared. “I’m inspired by the way Segovia transformed the classical guitar.” In 2007, Avital won the top prize at Israel’s prestigious Aviv competition for soloists, becoming the first mandolin player ever to receive this award.

Avital’s performances have been received with great enthusiasm at such leading international venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Lucerne’s KKL and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing as well as at the Tanglewood, Spoleto and Ravenna festivals. He has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Symphoniker, I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and collaborated extensively with artists such as clarinettist Giora Feidman (his great mentor), soprano Dawn Upshaw and trumpeter-composer Frank London.

His 2012 calendar includes collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Workshop on a new composition by David Bruce, a Baroque project highlighting Venetian music of the 17th century, a newly commissioned cross-genre performance with New York-based jazz artist Omer Avital, to be premiered at Musikfest Bremen,as well as appearances with the San Francisco and Geneva Chamber Orchestras and the Berlin Chamber Soloists.

Avital has released numerous recordings in the disparate genres of klezmer, Baroque and new classical music. In 2010 he became 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. He won Germany’s prestigious ECHO prize for his 2008 recording with the David Orlowsky Trio.

Avi Avital recently signed an exclusive agreement with Deutsche Grammophon. The first release, in August, will be an album of music by J. S. Bach. In conjunction with this recording, he will be touring Germany in October, giving solo Bach recitals in Hamburg, Berlin, Bielefeld and Münster.

Album: Bach
# Song Title   Time
  Concerto for Harpsichord, Strings, and Continuo No.1 in D minor, BWV 1052 - adapted for Mandolin and Orchestra by Avi Avital
1)    1. Allegro More Info... 7:23
2)    2. Adagio More Info... 5:30
3)    3. Allegro More Info... 7:39
  Concerto for Harpsichord, Strings, and Continuo No.5 in F minor, BWV 1056 - adapted for Mandolin and Orchestra by Avi Avital
4)    1. (Allegro) More Info... 3:24
  Concerto For Harpsichord, Strings, And Continuo No.5 In F Minor, BWV 1056 - Adapted For Mandolin And Orchestra By Avi Avital
5)    2. Largo More Info... 2:42
  Concerto for Harpsichord, Strings, and Continuo No.5 in F minor, BWV 1056 - adapted for Mandolin and Orchestra by Avi Avital
6)    3. Presto More Info... 3:25
  Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, BWV 1041 - adapted for Mandolin and Orchestra by Avi Avital
7)    1. (Allegro moderato) More Info... 3:33
8)    2. Andante More Info... 5:29
9)    3. Allegro Assai More Info... 3:31
  Sonata For Flute Or Violin No.5 In E Minor, BWV 1034 - Adapted For Mandolin And Continuo by Avi Avital
10)    1. Adagio ma non troppo More Info... 2:51
  Sonata for Flute or Violin No.5 in E minor, BWV 1034 - adapted for Mandolin and Continuo by Avi Avital
11)    2. Allegro More Info... 2:40
12)    3. Andante More Info... 3:19
13)    4. Allegro More Info... 4:59
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