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Guitarist ELIOT FISK is known world wide as a charismatic performer famed for his adventurous and virtuosic repertoire. He is also celebrated for his willingness to take art music into unusual venues (schools, senior centers, and even logging camps and prisons!). After 45 years before the public he remains as his mentor Andres Segovia once wrote, “at the top line of our artistic world.”
The repertoire of the classical guitar has been transformed through Fisk’s transcriptions (including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, Albeniz and many others), through works dedicated to him by composers as varied as Luciano Berio, Leonardo Balada, Robert Beaser, Nicholas Maw, George Rochberg, Daniel Bernard Roumain and Kurt Schwertsik, and through his collaborations with musicians in classical, flamenco, jazz, and world music styles.
Eliot’s recordings have entered the Billboard charts as best sellers. Two solo CDs featuring contemporary works written for and transcribed by Eliot Fisk were released to great acclaim in 2010 by Wildner Records. Upcoming releases include “Amazing Grace” with Richard Stoltzman (clarinet) and 2 additional CDs with Paco Pena (flamenco guitar) and cellist Yehuda Hanani.
In the 2012-2013 concert season, in addition to his regular concerto, recital and chamber music appearances Eliot Fisk performed on two continents in duo recital with jazz guitar great, Bill Frisell. Within a one month period in 2013 he premiered songs for cello, voice and guitar by Robert Beaser, a new arrangement for 2 guitars and orchestra of William Bolcom’s “Graceful Ghost Rag” by Payton McDonald, and Ralf Gawlick’s mammoth tribute to German artist Kaethe Kollwitz, “Kollwitz Kodex,” for soprano and guitar. The latter was premiered in the U.S. at Boston College and in Germany at the Kollwitz Museum in Cologne.
Other recent landmark premieres have included Robert Beaser’s “Guitar Concerto” (with Dennis Russell Davies at Zankel Hall in New York City) Eliot’s transcription for solo guitar of John Corigliano’s “Red Violin Caprices” and the epic solo suite “Ein Kleines Requiem” dedicated to him by Austrian composer Kurt Schwertsik.
Eliot Fisk was the last direct pupil of Andres Segovia and also studied interpretation with the legendary harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick at Yale University, from which he graduated “summa cum laude” in 1976. Described by one New York Times headline as a “Fiery Missionary to the Unconverted”, Eliot Fisk is Professor at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he teaches in 5 languages, and in Boston at the New England Conservatory.
In June 2006, King Juan Carlos of Spain awarded Eliot the “Cruz de Isabel la Catolica” for his service to the cause of Spanish music. Earlier recipients of this honor included Andres Segovia and Yehudi Menuhin. Eliot Fisk is Founder and Artistic Director of Boston GuitarFest (www.bostonguitarfest.org) an annual cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural extravaganza co-sponsored by the New England Conservatory and Northeastern University and now in its 8th consecutive year. More information at www.eliotfisk.com.
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