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SUPERSTAR Avi Avital is giving a Mandolin Masterclass to locally-based amateur players before he takes to the stage at St George’s Bristol on July 9 (Saturday).

The Grammy-nominated mandolinist is described as one of the world’s most exciting and adventurous musicians. Avi is joined by Ksenija Sidorova on accordion and Itamar Doari on hand percussion.

The New York Times referred to him as a ‘superstar’, and described his ‘exquisitely sensitive playing’ and ‘stunning agility’.

Avi is giving an hour-long masterclass to members of the Bristol Mandolin and Guitar Ensemble before performing his latest album Between Worlds.

It is the latest in a series of masterclasses at St George’s for local musicians. Other artists involved in the masterclass programme include James Rhodes, Julian Lloyd Webber, and the children from Project Zulu.

The Bristol Mandolin and Guitar Ensemble is also due to play to audience members in the Crypt at St George’s, before Avi’s concert in the Main Hall.

Avi has played at the Carnegie Hall in New York, Berlin Philharmonie, plus Wigmore Hall and the Globe Theatre in London.

‘Between Worlds’ explores the links between classical and folk music traditions in original and thought-provoking arrangements. The programme intermingles folk-inspired classical works with traditional Georgian and Bulgarian folk music.

Talking about his album ‘Between Worlds’, Avi Avital stated: “I didn’t want it be just folk or just classical but inbetween. It’s a very personal album and it means something to me.”

He added: “I’m excited to be returning to Bristol and performing at St George’s for the first time. When I was last in this city in 2014 I was lucky enough to give a masterclass to the Bristol Mandolin Ensemble, I found their enthusiasm for the instrument and community compelling and I’m greatly looking forward to working with them again on July 9.

“Believe it or not there are many places in the world that have local amateur mandolin orchestras, even in the most remote places!

“When I can, I try to meet with these ensembles and connect with the local mandolin players, there is always something to share and a common love towards this instrument.”

Knud Stüwe, who leads the Bristol Mandolin and Guitar Ensemble, said: “Our group is looking forward to having a masterclass lesson from one of the best mandolinists in the world today.

“We are also very proud to be part of an amazing evening with wonderful mandolin player Avi Avital.”

He added: “Join us for our pre-concert performance in the Crypt for a colourful blend of brand new arrangements of music by Camille Saens and The Eurythmics, alongside pieces by Erik Satie, Jimmy Hendrix, Riad al Sombati and Luigi Boccherini.”

Born in Be’er Sheva, Israel in 1978, Avi Avital started learning the mandolin at the age of eight. He graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and Conservatoire Cesare Pollini in Italy.