PREMIERE | Contemporary Creators: Avi Avital

Avi Avital takes us on a journey to the magical world of the mandolin. An exceptional artist, a unique instrument, and a passionate conversation about searching for musical roots.

Avital talks about his Moroccan-Jewish background, his fascination with the folklore and traditional music of different cultures, and how they interweave with the classical music heritage.

PREMIERE: 21/04/22 @ 20:00 CET | YouTube

A film by: Arth Pixels

The fifth film in the Contemporary Creators series is a meeting with an artist who, against all odds chose an instrument from outside of the canon of orchestral music and became one of the most sought-after concert soloists in the world. Avital's captivating personality combined with his vast musical knowledge and artistic wisdom will guarantee a journey full of interesting anecdotes and inspiration. It is also a reflection on how not to fall into conformism and what it means to be responsible as an artist.
Mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital is well known to the Szczecin Philharmonic audience for his various appearances, to include the Rubato series, which presents traditional music in various, often distant contexts. He was born in Israel into a family of Jewish emigrants from Morocco. He graduated from the Academy of Music in Jerusalem and the Cesar Pollini Conservatory in Padua, where he learned the art of mandolin playing from Ugo Orlandi himself – one of the most important mandolinists in the history of contemporary music.

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. More than 100 contemporary compositions have been written for him, 15 of them concertos including by Anna Clyne, Avner Dorman and Giovanni Sollima.

An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has made five recordings for the label mostly recently solo Bach (2019). Earlier releases include Avital meets Avital (2017) with oud/bassist, Omer Avital, which explores their shared cultural heritage and brings their differing classical and jazz musical backgrounds into dialogue. Vivaldi (2015) followed his own Bach concerto transcriptions (2012) 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.

Increasingly in demand as a concerto soloist, Avital’s has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tonhalle Zurich, Israel Philharmonic, Dresden Phiharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Residentie Orkest, Norwegian Radio, Orpheus, The Knights, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under conductors such as Mehta, Nagano, Vänskä, Sado, Jonathan Cohen, McGegan, Koopman and Antonini.

He is a regular presence at major festivals such as Aspen, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravenna, MISA Shanghai, Cheltenham and Verbier and he was Portrait Artist at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in 2017. He subsequently curated a weekend Zeitsinsel at the Dortmund Konzerthaus with 4 programmes featuring classical, jazz and improvisations and a new collaboration with the Venice Baroque Orchestra and Georgian puppet theatre, Budrugana Gagra.
21-04-2022, 15:58:41