Avital helps bring interest of classical audiences to mandolin

Posted on: January 7, 2013

In Friday’s (1/4) Denver Post, Mark Ray Rinaldi writes, “The mandolin has been around for four-plus centuries now, but the instrument never fully captured the imagination of the classical set. Over the years, violins and cellos got their due, even guitars, but not the lowly, eight-stringed mandolin. Vivaldi wrote a piece, just one that’s truly memorable, but great composers from Bach to Brahms opted out. … ‘The mandolin was forgotten for some reason,’ said Avi Avital, whose life mission is to bring the instrument back to the classical masses. … He’s played at classical temples like Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and been a guest with orchestras across the globe. Thursday, he performs at Denver’s Mizel Center with musicians from the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. … There is very little in the canon for mandolin. So Avital spends much of his energy transcribing notes written for other instruments to suit his needs. … Avital has also commissioned several works, hiring composers who write for standard instruments, and challenging them to create something different for the mandolin. Avital’s 2010 recording of one commission, Avner Dorman’s ‘Mandolin Concerto,’ earned him a Grammy nomination. He’ll play that in Denver, along with Vivaldi’s not-so-familiar Concerto in D Minor. Audiences can expect the Bach concerti, he said, and maybe a few other surprises.”

Posted January 7, 2013