The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras, renowned for fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s greatest orchestral music. They are led by music director and virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, presenting symphonic repertoire and chamber music on a grand scale at prestigious venues around the world.
When COVID-19 sparked lockdowns across the globe, the Academy responded by launching a new concert series. The series—the first of its kind in the orchestra’s home city for many years—has seen the Academy collaborate with internationally artists on concert programmes devised by members of the orchestra.
The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy®, Avi Avital has been compared to Andres Segovia for his championship of his instrument and to Jascha Heifitz for his incredible virtuosity. Winner of Israel’s prestigious Aviv Competition in 2007, Avital is the first mandolinist in the history of the competition to be so honored.
Born in Be’er Sheva in southern Israel, Avital began learning the mandolin at the age of 8 and studied at the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua with Ugo Orlandi. The New York Times describes his live performances as passionate and “explosively charismatic,” and he is a driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin repertory.
Program (subject to change):
Michael Tippett: Fantasia concertante on a Theme of Corelli
Avner Dorman: Concerto for Mandolin and Strings
– Intermission –
Bach: Violin Concerto no. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 (arr. Avi Avital)
William Walton: Sonata for Strings
Avi Avital will place his encore (a Vivaldi selection, to be determined) after the Bach