Chris Acquavella is a classical mandolinist & composer from San Diego, California, currently living in Mainz, Germany. He graduated First Class Honors from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London, England. Chris studied composition under the instruction of contemporary artist, Andrew Poppy. In 2004, Chris won the Wolfsan Foundation Music Award and was awarded the TCM Trust Silver Medal in 2006. In 2016, Chris’ composition, Four Melodies (R9550), won 1st Prize at the “Call for Scores” competition hosted by the KMGO. From 2004 – 2006, he was a contributing composer for contemporary folk ensemble, Izbuha. Chris was lead composer for contemporary ensemble, Dzveli He, from 2008 – 2010. He has fulfilled commissioned works for the Bund Deutscher Zupmusiker e.V., the British BMG Federation, Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg and Duo MaRe. Chris focuses on composing ‘art music’ for plucked string instruments and mixed ensembles. He tries to incorporate various styles into his brand of classical form. Chris’ main influence is American minimalism and early American avant garde. Many of Acquavella’s compositions have an element of minimalism to them. However, he is not purely a minimalist composer. Chris is also influenced by Eastern European folk music, American folk music, and popular music styles such as Punk, Hardcore and Progressive Rock.  He is currently published by Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg (DE) and Astute Music, Ltd.(UK). Some of his most popular compositions are Imardin for solo mandolin (T6457), 2014 for solo mandolin (T6629), Journey to Pazardzhik (T6568), Wishes (am514-28), Walking the Streets of Amsterdam(am514-31), Four Melodies (R9550) and Yutuma (R9430).

Here is a list of published works by Chris Acquavella. For published works please purchase from your local retailer or from the publishing house directly.



  • Imardin, for solo mandolin – published in 2012; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (T6457) – audio, video
  • 2014, for solo mandolin – published in 2015; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (T6629) – video
  • Journey for Pazardzhik, for Baroque Mandolino – published in 2014; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (T6568) – video
  • El Diablo Come Burritos, for Baroque Mandolino – published in 2019; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (T6709)
  • Mando Phase, for solo mandolin & prepared tape or looping station – composed 2006; unpublished – contact Chris Acquavella directly – audio
  • Serenade for Ali – composed for Alison Stephens, 2006; published 2019; Astute Music, Ltd., UK – (am514-35) – video
  • Stars Over Point Loma, for Baroque Mandolino – published in 2021; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (T6731)


  • Wishes, for 2 mandolins – published 2015; Astute Music, Ltd., UK – (am514-28) – video
  • Music on Route, (Departure, Freedom to Travel), for mandolin & guitar – published 2012; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (T6458) – audio
  • Aki-no-kure “Autumn Nightfall” – composed for Mare Duo, 2013; premiered by Mare Duo, 2015; published by Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (T6631) – video
  • Walking the Streets of Amsterdam, for 2 mandolins – composed 2016; published 2017; Astute Music, Ltd., UK – (am514-31) – video
  • SE10 “The Rushstick Charmers”, for mandolin and mandocello – composed for Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg, 2011; arranged for mandolin/guitar, 2012 and mandolin/mandola (OM) 2013; unpublished – video
  • Slowly Dripping Away, for violin (mandolin), cello and prepared tape – composed 2005; contact Chris Acquavella directly – audio
  • Yutuma, for mandolin & guitar – published in 2020; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (T6728)

MANDOLIN ORCHESTRA (zupforchester):

  • Four Melodies, for zupforchester – composed 2015/2016 for the Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra’s “Call For Scores”. Won 1st Prize: published in 2017; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (R9550) – video
  • Remembrance of a Beautiful Soul for zupforchester – composed 2018/2019; commissioned by The British BMG Federation; premiered on March 29, 2020 by the British National Fretted Orchestra, Conductor: Chris Acquavella; published 2019, Astute Music Ltd (am514-59)
  • Yutuma, for zupforchester – published in 2014; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (R9430), premiered by New American Mandolin Ensemble, 2014 – video
  • Harusame “Spring-rain”, for voice and mandolin orchestra – composed 2011; premiered by JuZO NRW, conducted by Annika Hinsche, 2014; published in 2019; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (R9572) – audio
  • Look Into My Soul, for solo mandolin and zupforchester – composed 2014/2015; premiered by Chris Acquavella & Seattle Mandolin Orchestra, 2015; published in 2020; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (R????)
  • Setsugekka: Snow, Moon and Flowers for zupforchester – composed 2014/2015; premiered by Landesjugendzupforchester Sachsen, Director: Katja Wolf, 2018; published in 2018; Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg – (R9544) – video


  • The Mandolin Companion, by Alison Stephens and Chris Acquavella, published in 2016, Astute Music Ltd. (am514-25)


  • Fire of Notre Dame, for sampled sounds and various processors, composed 2002/2003; unpublished – audio