I discovered Avi Avital mandolin performances in June 2013, and my first reaction was, “what, do they really play mandolin in Israel?”. Yes I did not know then, and it was my fault. As it happens in the age of YouTube and Vimeo, I stumbled upon a track from Avi Avital Deutche Grammophone Bach album on YouTube and immediately decided to try to learn more about him.
Researching the Internet for more info, I was initially impressed by how young Avi Avital is, and also by his strange mandolin that he uses as his main instrument (more on that below). I was skeptical at the beginning, but quickly changed my mind, especially when I read about his vision and deep commitment to “building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance and exciting new repertoire” and after listening to his brilliant performance for his recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto with Andrew Cyr and the Metropolis Ensemble, that allowed him to receive a Grammy nomination in the category “Best Instrumental Soloist” . This is what I am listening now, when writing this post!
I have to admit, I am now one of his big fans, I have purchased all his recordings and I am looking forward to meeting him and attending one of his concerts or recitals.