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Avi Avital returns to Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, March 11 with a program that transports the mandolin to its Venetian roots


On March 12, WQXR hosts Avital and members of the Venice Baroque Orchestra at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space to celebrate Vivaldi.


March 5, 2015 -- The GRAMMY-nominated Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital has been praised as a both an “enthralling and sensitive soloist” (Boston Globe) and a “convincing advocate for his instrument” (Wall Street Journal).  As the first mandolinist signed to Deutsche Grammophon, he has brought the instrument to entirely new audiences, building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance and a commitment to commissioning new works and arrangements in a range of genres. On Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. Avital and the Venice Baroque Orchestra perform a program of Italian Baroque repertoire by Vivaldi, Paisiello and Marcello. The following night, Thursday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m., Avital and members of the Venice Baroque Orchestra give an intimate performance in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, hosted by WQXR’s Annie Bergen. Both programs will include repertoire from Avital and the Venice Baroque Orchestra's Vivaldi album, released on Deutsche Grammophon on February 24th. The event will be webcast live on and archived for streaming. See below for details on both concerts, including program and ticket info.


VivaldiAvital's third album on DG and the Venice Baroque Orchestra's twelfthreturns the instrument to its origins: the Venetian Baroque and master composer Antonio Vivaldi. On this release, Avital captures the mystical spirit of Venice, shedding new light on Vivaldi’s musical genius by performing his own transcriptions of the composer’s works, demonstrating the rock star status that Vivaldi cultivated in his own time. 


“Working with the Venice Baroque Orchestra is a great experience,” says Avital. “All the players live around Venice and are surrounded by the culture of this unique city. You can hear their incredible understanding of its history in every note.” 


Avital sees Vivaldi’s mandolin concertos as the instrument’s “Old Testament,” and has long wanted to revisit these earliest experiments in mandolin music. “Once you start looking into Baroque performance practice,” says Avital, “you soon realize how much freedom musicians had back then. Music in those days was all about guts, personality and spontaneity.” For a musician such as Avital, fascinated by every aspect of his instrument, the music of Vivaldi is a gift: “He was one of the few composers who actually wrote for the mandolin. The fact that this music is designed for the instrument gives it a real sense of intimacy.” The album’s trailer can be viewed here: 



Recognized by The New York Times for his "exquisitely sensitive playing" and “stunning agility”, Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital is one of the world’s most exciting and entrepreneurial musicians. Avital 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.


Avi Avital is internationally regarded for his performances at venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, KKL Luzern, Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and Wigmore Hall in London. He has appeared as soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and Berliner Symphoniker under the batons of Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Simon Rattle and Philippe Entremont, amongst others. Avital has collaborated extensively with artists such as clarinettist Giora Feidman, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and trumpeter and composer Frank London. He has also been featured at the Tanglewood, Luzern, Spoleto, and Ravenna summer music festivals.


Recent highlights include Concerto performances at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Fest and Aspen Music Festival, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road workshop on a new composition by David Bruce, performances of “Avital meets Avital”, a cross-genre program with New York-based jazz artist Omer Avital, and engagements with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Oxford Philomusica and Potsdam Kammerakademie.


Avital plays a 1998 Arik Kerman mandolin built especially for him with Thomastik-Infeld strings. For more info, visit



Founded in 1997 by Baroque scholar and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon, the Venice Baroque Orchestra is recognized as one of the very finest period instrument ensembles. The Orchestra receives wide critical acclaim for its concert and opera performances throughout North America, Europe, South America, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China. The VBO has appeared in more cities across the United States and Asia than any other Baroque orchestra in history. 


Committed to the rediscovery of 17th- and 18th-century masterpieces, under Mr. Marcon's leadership VBO has given the modern-day premieres of Francesco Cavalli's L'Orione, Vivaldi's Atenaide, Andromeda liberata, Benedetto Marcello's La morte d'Adone and Il trionfo della poesia e della musica, and Boccherini's La Clementina. With Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Orchestra has staged Cimarosa's L'Olimpiade, Handel's Siroe, and Galuppi's L'Olimpiade, and reprised Siroe at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York in its first full staging in the United States.


The VBO has recently toured extensively with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, cellists Gautier Capuçon and Mario Brunello, recorder player Maurice Steger, and with  violinist Giuliano Carmignola. In addition to concerts with mandolinist Avi Avital in Italy, Croatia, Germany, Mexico, and across the US, the VBO will tour this season with contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux in Paris, with contralto Sonia Prina in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and collaborate with violinist Nicola Benedetti in Baden-Baden and soprano Karina Gauvin in Dresden.


The VBO's extensive discography includes the world-premiere recording of Vivaldi's Andromeda liberata; violin concertos with Giuliano Carmignola and Viktoria Mullova; Vivaldi sinfonias and concertos for strings; Vivaldi motets and arias with soprano Simone Kermes, Handel arias and Vivaldi arias with Magdalena Ko┼żená; Bach arias featuring Angelika Kirchschlager, and Italian arias with Patricia Petibon. 


The Venice Baroque Orchestra is supported by Fondazione Cassamarca in Treviso.




Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall

Avi Avital, mandolin

Venice Baroque Orchestra

VIVALDI Concerto in C Major for Strings and Continuo, RV 114

VIVALDI Concerto in D Minor for Strings and Continuo, RV 127

VIVALDI Concerto in D Major for Lute, Strings, and Continuo, RV 93

MARCELLO Concerto in G Major for Strings and Continuo

VIVALDI Concerto in G Major for Two Mandolins, Strings, and Continuo, RV 532 (arr. for mandolin and recorder by Avi Avital)

GEMINIANI Concerto Grosso in D Minor (after Corelli's Violin Sonata Op. 5, No. 12, "Folia")

VIVALDI Concerto in C Major for Mandolin, Strings, and Continuo, RV 425

PAISIELLO Concerto in E-flat Major for Mandolin and Strings

VIVALDI Concerto in G Minor for Violin and Continuo, "L'estate" ("Summer"), RV 315


Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space

Avi Avital, mandolin

Members of the Venice Baroque Orchestra

Annie Bergen, host


Join Avi Avital and members of the acclaimed Venice Baroque Orchestra for a special evening of Vivaldi and more in The Greene Space, WQXR’s intimate performance venue, featuring repertoire from their newly-released recording on Deutsche Grammophon. WQXR’s Annie Bergen hosts.

VIVALDI Concerto in A Minor, RV 356
VIVALDI Concerto in D Major for Lute, Strings, and Continuo, RV 93
VIVALDI Concerto for Strings in G Minor, RV 157.  3rd movement, Allegro 
VIVALDI Concerto in C Major for Flautino RV 443.  2nd movement, Largo
Bucimis (Traditional Bulgarian)
VIVALDI Concerto in G Minor for Violin and Continuo, "L'estate" ("Summer"), RV 315

A live video webcast will also be available at


General admission tickets, priced at $25, are available online at


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To request review copies, press tickets or an interview with Mr. Avital, please contact:

Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Davis Public Relations


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