Avi Avital on being a mandolin ambassador

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Avi Avital at the Bristol Proms

The mandolin player chats to Classic FM's Jane Jones ahead of his incredible Baroque collaboration this evening.

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Bach and Takemitsu? They might be quite different composers, but Avi Avital explains exactly why they should be paired together - and played on the mandolin.

Bringing a new audience to the mandolin and the harpsichord, Avi Avital always seems to find mandolin ensembles in the most obscure places. Even before performing on stage at the Bristol Proms, he gave a masterclass to Bristol's mandolin group - a rare treat to play with one of the best mandolinists in the world.

Speaking to Classic FM's Jane Jones, he explained exactly why he's planning to play some slightly more unexpected music in concert at the Bristol Old Vic. Playing the mandolin isn't just about playing Bach, he says. And sometimes, you might want to duet with another plucked instrument, the harpsichord, played by Mahan Esfahani.

"It's nice to give a more panoramic view," he explained. "Both of the instruments tonight are not very commonly heard in concert halls in this setting, as a duo."

Speaking about the concert's diverse programme, he added: "I think after you heard the Takemitsu, we go back to Bach, and you hear the Bach differently."