Avigail Bushakevitz is a Berlin-based, South African violinist. Born in Israel, she grew up in South Africa. In the seven years following the end of her high school, she lived, studied and performed in Cape Town, New York, Tel Aviv and Berlin.
In South Africa she was first prize winner of the UNISA National Strings Competition and the SAMRO Fondations Overseas Scholarships Competition. She was also recipient of the “Young Artist of the Year for Music” in 2016 for producing exceptional work in the field of music. In Israel she was awarded first prize in the national Israeli UNO competition in Jerusalem.
After studying with Jack de Wet in Cape Town, she went to New York and graduated from the Juilliard School of Music, where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg. Whilst at the Juilliard, she was also employed as teaching assistant in ear training, a position she held for three years. Post Juilliard, Avigail studied with Hagai Shaham as an Artist Diploma student at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. In Berlin she was tutored by Ulf Wallin at the Music Academy "Hanns Eisler".
As a soloist, Avigail has performed concerti by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Saint- Saëns, Mozart, Beethoven and Bruch with orchestras in South Africa, Israel and Germany. Her love of baroque music and instruments has seen her playing Bach and Locatelli concerti with baroque ensembles such as the Cape Town Baroque Orchestra. A passionate chamber musician, she is a member of many Berlin based ensembles, performing in major halls and intimate venues in Germany. Apart from South Africa and Europe, Avigail has toured the United States, the Middle East, Japan and Korea as a chamber musician. As a duo with her pianist brother Ammiel, they won first prize at the Paper de Música International Chamber Competition in Catalonia; the prize included a year of recitals in Spain. She and Ammiel made a CD recording of Mozart’s Violin and Piano Sonatas. Avigail is a member of the Franz Trio, her string trio based in Berlin, with violist Ernst-Martin Schmidt and cellist Constance Ricard.
As an orchestral musician, Avigail has played as concertmaster at the Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms in London under Sir Mark Elder, as well as in Israel under Zubin Mehta. As a member of the Juilliard Orchestra, she performed several times in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. She has played under the baton of some of the greatest conducting legends of our time, including Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Ivan Fisher, Herbert Blomstedt, Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Christoph Eschenbach. As a member of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra she has toured Spain and Abu Dhabi.
Avigail plays with the first violins in the Konzerthaus Orchestra in Berlin which is based in the beautiful building of Konzerthaus on Gendarmenmarkt in the heart of Berlin. She is married to her chamber music partner, violist Ernst-Martin Schmidt and they live in Berlin with their three young children.