“Today, the mandolin is seen mainly as a folk instrument. I wanted to return it to its classical roots. It was an integral part of Italian Baroque music in particular… (it) has a mixed identity that lies somewhere between classical and popular music – rather like the Russian balalaika and the Greek bouzouki. That was my starting point.”
That starting point led Avi Avital to create the sublime album Between Worlds, an musical exploration that builds bridges between the traditions of Eastern European folk and classical music. For the concert, Avital is reunited with his original album co-stars Ksenija Sidorova (accordion) and Itamar Doari (hand-percussion), to recreate the captivating and, at times, exhilarating sounds that brought them so much acclaim on disc.
Acknowledged by The New York Times for his “exquisitely sensitive playing” and “stunning agility”, the Grammy-nominated mandolinist is one of the world’s most exciting and adventurous musicians. 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 Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padova, Italy where he studied the original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi.
He 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 (2007), the preeminent national competition for Israeli soloists.
BETWEEN WORLDS is live at St George’s Bristol on Saturday 9 July at 7.30pm.
Tickets are £20, £15, £10, £5 Students/U18s (plus fees)
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