Brazilian brothers and classical guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad perform with Israeli mandolin player Avi Avital. The trio explore both classical repertoire reimagined for guitar and mandolin, as well as traditional choro music, a popular genre in Brazil known for its upbeat rhythms and bravura virtuosity, in an exciting musical collaboration.
Listen to Sérgio & Odair Assad
Listen to Avi Avital
More about Sérgio & Odair Assad
The Assad Brothers began playing the guitar together at an early age and went on to study for seven years with Dona Monina. Their international career began with a major prize at the 1979 Young Artists Competition in Bratislava. Odair is based in Brussels where he teaches at École Supérieure des Arts, while Sérgio resides in San Francisco where he is on the faculty of the SF Conservatory.
In February 2011, Odair Assad performed his first solo guitar concert tour, while Sérgio Assad wrote another concerto for the duo and was nominated for two Latin Classical Grammys in the Best Classical Composition Category. In the fall of 2011, five members of the Assad family: Sérgio, Odair, Badi, Clarice, and Carolina joined together again for another evening of new and favorite Brazilian works. Every November, the brothers continue their annual residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson with support from the D'Addario Family Foundation.
The Assad Brothers’ collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma is ongoing, and several of the works arranged by Sérgio went on to receive Grammy awards in 2004. In 2009, the brothers were featured on Yo-Yo Ma’s chart topping release, Songs of Joy & Peace. The release topped both the classical and the mainstream Billboard charts and won a Grammy for Best Classical Crossover. In November 2015, Ma and the Assads created a new project with musicians from Brazil, Russia, India, and China that toured North America and then Europe. In 2015, Sérgio and Odair also celebrated their 50th anniversary as a duo and were both awarded with Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Guitar Foundation of America.
More about Avi Avital
The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy Award, Avi Avital is one of the foremost ambassadors for his instrument. Avital 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.
Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel in 1978, Avital began learning the mandolin at the age of eight and soon joined the flourishing mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, Italy, where he studied original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi. Avital won the first-prize Doris and Mori Arkin Award at Israel’s prestigious Aviv Competitions in 2007, and is the first mandolinist in the history of the competition to win. He plays on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.
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Enjoy a complimentary coffee reception with the artists after this performance.