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Saturday, April 29th 2017
Kolarac Foundation Hall 20h

AVI AVITAL, Mandoline


Programme: Edvard Grieg: Holberg-Suite, Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto for Violin (Mandoline) A minor BWV 1041, Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for Lute in D major RV 93, Antonin Dvorаk: Bagatellen op.47

Avner Dorman: Concerto for Mandoline, Sulchan Zinzadse: Six Miniatures

"The words “superstar” and “mandolinist” still look odd next to each other. Yet in the classical world they are starting to be joined with some frequency…. Avi Avital who on Wednesday gave a performance of 18th-century Italian concertos at Zankel Hall with the Venice Baroque Orchestra.... was nothing short of electric.” The New York Times, 12 March 2015
The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy, Avi Avital is one of the foremost ambassadors for his instrument. Passionate and “explosively charismatic” (New York Times) in live performance, he is a driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin repertory. More than 90 contemporary compositions, 15 of them concertos, have been written for him, while his inspired re-imaginings of music for other instruments include the arrangements heard on his 2014 recording Between Worlds. Enhanced by his infectious spirit of adventure and the warm rapport he fosters with his audience, Avital’s championship of his instrument is taking the mandolin centre stage. “The exciting part of being a classical mandolin player,” he says, “is that it opens a wide field for creative freedom. When I commission new pieces and engage with different musical styles, I feel that I am bringing to light new faces of this unique instrument, uncovering what is hiding there.”
The first mandolin soloist to become an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has made three recordings for the label most recently his ECHO Klassik Award-winning Vivaldi (2015). Earlier releases featured 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 winning a first ECHO Klassik Award for his 2008 collaboration with the David Orlowsky Trio. 
Avital’s inspired music-making has electrified audiences in performances around the world including Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, London’s Wigmore and Royal Albert Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, Paris Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus, New York’s Carnegie Hall (Zankel Hall), and with a live telecast on Arte, the Palais de Versailles. He has performed with international orchestras from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra to the Israel Philharmonic, and is a favourite on the international festival circuit, having appeared at the Aspen, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravenna, Cheltenham and Verbier Festivals, amongst others.
Current highlights include engagements with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin/Koopman, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Mehta, Dresden Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal/Nagano, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra/Vänskä and a performance of Vivaldi The Four Seasons at the Hollywood Bowl. 
Avital has partnered leading artists in a variety of genres, including Andreas Scholl, Juan Diego Flórez, Dawn Upshaw, Giora Feidman, Ray Chen, David Greilsammer, Mahan Esfahani, Richard Galliano, Ksenija Sidorova, percussionist Itamar Doari, and the Enso and Danish String Quartets. His latest collaboration with oud/bassist, Omer Avital draws on their shared musical heritage and combines a rich musical melting pot where the finesse of chamber music meets the raw emotional energy of jazz and world music. Avital meets Avital will be released on DG in 2017 and tours internationally through the 2016-17 season.
Born in Be’er Sheva in southern Israel, Avital 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 Padua, Italy, where he studied original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi. Winner of Israel’s prestigious Aviv Competition in 2007, Avital is the first mandolinist in the history of the competition to be so honoured. He plays on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.

The Deutsche Kammerorchester Berlin (DKO) was founded in autumn 1989, in spirit of the German reunification. In over 25 active years the DKO has grown to be an integral part of Berlin’s musical cultural scene. Today, it mirrors the famous Berlin atmosphere: A broad cross-section of musicians from both parts of the formerly divided city and international fellow artists form a unique body of sound, ever enthralling with its curiosity and commitment. DKO captures the audience with its lively and authentic togetherness and the always excellent quality of its sound.
The ensemble, consisting of around 20 members under the artistic director and first concertmaster Gabriel Adorján, has always put great emphasis on self-determination. The DKO has its home in the Berlin Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Hall where it performs its subscription concerts and the traditional Christmas Concert. However, the orchestra is always keen on conquering and presenting unusual and new venues to present their art.
The DKO’s repertoire spans from baroque to contemporary music. The main focus is on the traditional classical canon of works, often juxtaposed with contemporary pieces. The DKO also aims at bringing attention to works on the margin of traditional concert repertoire. Conductors like Christian Jost, Michael Helmrath, Simon Halsey, Elias Grandy and Florian Ludwig have been taking over the stand. By welcoming Markus Poschner as permanent guest conductor the DKO managed to tightly connect an outstanding artist to itself. The international guest soloists included Daniel Hope, Nigel Kennedy, Anna Prohaska, Sebastian Knauer, Avi Avital and Maximilian Hornung. Additionally, they have also recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon, Edel and Solo Musica with distinguished guests such as Daniel Hope, Albrecht Mayer, Liv Migdal, Annika Treutler, Adoro and many more.
An important cause for the DKO is offering a stage to up-and-coming young artists and integrating them into a professional orchestra and its processes. Connected to this cause, cooperation with schools in Berlin is fostered in order to enable young people to find their own access to classical music and to give them insights into the workings of an orchestra.
Aside from its concerts in Berlin the DKO tours throughout Germany and the whole world. Most recent engagements included the Meraner Musikwochen, Konzerthaus Dortmund and performances in the Seoul Arts Center.

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