A musician who recognizes no boundaries except those of good taste and who has the artistry to persuade listeners to follow him anywhere.” Gramophone

The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy Award, 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 reimaginings of music for other instruments include the arrangements heard on his 2015 ECHO Klassik Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording, Vivaldi. Enhanced by his infectious spirit of adventure and the warm rapport he fosters with his audience, Avital’s pathbreaking championship of his instrument is taking the mandolin center 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.”

Avital’s unprecedented Grammy nomination honors his recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto, a work he commissioned in 2006 and went on to capture with New York’s Metropolis Ensemble under Andrew Cyr. As the first mandolin soloist to become an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has made three recordings for the label to date; besides the award-winning 2015 release Vivaldi, these are his 2012 debut, featuring his own Bach concerto transcriptions, and the 2014 album Between Worlds, a cross-generic chamber collection exploring the nexus between classical and traditional music. He previously recorded for such labels as SONY Classical and Naxos, winning a first ECHO Klassik Award for his 2008 collaboration on the former label with the David Orlowsky Trio ... read full bio