Biography

I consider Eliot Fisk as one of the most brilliant, intelligent and gifted young musical artists of our times, not only amongst guitarists but in all the general field of instrumentalists. His clear and flexible technique, his noble style of interpreting the beauty of the classic compositions as well as the colourful music of today, put him at the top line of our artistic world.

– Andrés Segovia

Eliot Fisk and Andrés Segovia

English

Guitarist Eliot Fisk is known worldwide 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 nearly 50 years before the public he remains as his mentor Andres Segovia once wrote, “at the top line of our artistic world.”

In the 2017-18 season Fisk continues to break new ground for the guitar with marathon performances of his transcriptions of all 6 Bach solo cello Suites, duo performances with guitar legend Angel Romero and with a new trio formed with virtuoso guitarists Joaquin Clerch and Aniello Desiderio.

The long awaited release of Robert Beaser’s monumental guitar Concerto (dedicated to Eliot Fisk) on LINN records in 2017 elicited rave reviews online and in print. In the spring of 2017, Eliot Fisk premiered Son Dementes Cuerdas with the famed Arditti String Quartet with performances on two continents culminating in a performance at Wigmore Hall in London in a concert also featuring the Sequenza XI for solo guitar composed for and dedicated to Eliot Fisk by Luciano Berio.

Eliot Fisk has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Pro Arte Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and many others. He returns regularly to major concert series such as Stanford Lively Arts, Spivey Hall (Atlanta), Duke University Performances, Newman Center for the Performing Arts in Denver; Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the 92nd Street Y in NYC, Da Camera Society of Houston, Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, San Francisco Chamber Music; Segovia Series at Pick-Staiger Hall at Northwestern University; Jordan Hall, Boston; Orange County Performing Arts Center; Brahms, Mozart and Schubert Saal (Vienna); Mozarteum Grosser Saal (Salzburg); Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London) and at numerous guitar festivals such as those of Cordoba, Spain; Belgrade, Serbia; and Iserlohn, Bad Aibling and Hersbrueck, Germany.

Eliot Fisk has performed with a dizzying array of chamber music colleagues including flutist,Paula Robison; clarinetist, Richard Stoltzman; cellist Yehuda Hanani; violinists Ruggiero Ricci, Gidon Kremer and Joshua Bell, the Shanghai, Juilliard, Miro, Borromeo and Arditti String Quartets.

He has invented numerous cross over projects with among others Paco Peña (flamenco guitar); Joe Pass and Bill Frisell (jazz guitar) chanteuse, Ute Lemper and Turkish music specialist, Burhan Öçal.

The repertoire of the classical guitar has been transformed through Fisk’s innumerable transcriptions (including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Granados, Albeniz and many others). In addition, numerous new works have been dedicated to him by composers as varied as Leonardo Balada, Robert Beaser, Luciano Berio, Ralf Gawlick, Nicholas Maw, George Rochberg, Daniel Bernard Roumain and Kurt Schwertsik.

Eliot Fisk remains a prolific recording artist. Recent releases include Ralf Gawlick’s Kollwitz Konnex for soprano and guitar (Musica Omnia) Anthony Paul de Ritis’s Pop Concerto with Gil Rose leading the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, a pair of CDs of new music dedicated to and transcribed by Fisk of works by Beaser, Corigliano, Schwertsik, and Rochberg (Wildner Records) and duo discs with flamenco legend, Paco Peña (on Nimbus Records) and cellist, Yehuda Hanani (Albany Records).

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, and where, directly following his own graduation in 1977, he founded the guitar department at the Yale School of Music.

Described by one New York Times headline as a “Fiery Missionary to the Unconverted”, Eliot Fisk is Professor at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he teaches in 5 languages, and in Boston at the New England Conservatory where in 2010 he received the Krasner Award as “Teacher of the Year.”

In June 2006, King Juan Carlos of Spain, awarded Eliot the “Cruz de Isabel la Católica” for his service to the cause of Spanish music. Earlier recipients of this honor have included Andres Segovia and Yehudi Menuhin.

Eliot Fisk is Founder and Artistic Director of Boston GuitarFest (www.bostonguitarfest.org) an annual cross-disciplinary event co- sponsored by the New England Conservatory and Northeastern University and now entering its 13th consecutive year. In 2017 he created and served as Artistic Director of the first ever and immensely successful Salzburg Guitar Fest at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg.

In summer of 2014 he toured China performing with his wife, classical guitarist, Zaira Meneses, and the couple’s young daughter, pianist, Raquel Fisk.

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Deutsch

Geboren in Philadelphia (USA) graduierte Eliot Fisk an der Yale University, wo er seine B.A. (summa cum Laude) und M.M. erhielt und bei Ralph Kirkpatrick studierte. Anschließend wurde er mit nur 22 Jahren mit der Gründung einer Gitarrenabteilung beauftragt.

1974 wurde er seinem geliebten Vorbild Andres Segovia vorgestellt, erhielt mehrere Jahre privaten Unterricht von ihm und wurde vom großem Meister auch begeistert unterstützt. 1981 schrieb Segovia über ihn, „He belongs in the first rank of our artistic world“.

Eliot Fisk ist in allen wichtigen Konzertsälen der Welt mit Soloprogrammen, als Solist mit Orchester und zusammen mit Kammermusikkollegen wie Paula Robinson (Flöte), Lucero Tena (Kastagnetten), dem Julliard Streichquartett, aufgetreten. Seine Neugier hat ihn auch dazu geführt, weltweite Tourneen in ungewöhnlichen Kombinationen wie z.B. mit Joe Pass (Jazzgitarre), Burhan Öcal (Türkische Tradition) und Paco Pena (Flamencogitarre) zu gestalten. Am 1. Mai 2009 wurde das Gitarrenkonzert von Robert Beaser in der Carnegie Hall unter der Leitung von Dennis Russel Davies mit großem Erfolg uraufgeführt.

In Salzburg, wo er seit 1989 Prof. für Gitarre am Mozarteum ist, hat er das innovative Projekt „Guitar and Friends“ ins Leben gerufen. Diese Initiative versucht, jungen Musikern Erfahrungen in „Outreach“ Aktivitäten zu vermitteln und die klassische Musik in allen möglichen Gattungen einem breites Publikum an untypischen Aufführungsorten näher zu bringen.

Viele bedeutende Komponisten haben entscheidende Werke für ihn geschrieben unter anderem Luciano Berio (Sequenza XI und Chemin V), George Rochberg (Muse of Fire, American Bouquet, Eden Out of Time and Out of Space), Robert Beaser (Mountain Songs, Notes on a Southern Sky, Guitar Concerto), Xavier Montsalvatge (3 Fados), Nicholas Maw (Music of Memory), Leonardo Balada (Caprichos für Gitarre und Streichquartett), Kurt Schwertsik (Ein kleines Requiem), Daniel Bernard Roumain (Gitarrenkonzert „We March“).

Eliot Fisk ist weltweit für seine gewagten Bearbeitungen bekannt: Erstmalig alle 24 Capricci von Paganini/op.1, Bachs 6 Sonaten und Partiten für solo-Violine, zahlreiche Cembalosonaten von Domenico Scarlatti, sämtliche Werke Vivaldis für Zupfinstrumente, zeitgenössische Werke wie die Sonate op. 20a von Cristobal Halffter, die Caprice Variationen von George Rochberg oder die „The Red Violin Caprices“ von John Corigliano und vieles mehr. Alle diese Werke sind von Eliot Fisk auch eingespielt und die meisten Aufnahmen wurden prämiert und gingen in die amerikanischen Billboard Charts als „Bestseller“ ein.

1996 wurde er von der spanischen Königsfamilie eingeladen, um im Palacio de los Cordova in der spanischen Stadt Granada für Präsident Bill Clinton und Familie zu konzertieren.

Das von Eliot Fisk gegründete „Boston Guitar Festival“ erlebte gerade sein 4. erfolgreiches Jahr. Die Philosophie dieser besonderen Veranstaltung ist die musikalische Konfrontation innerhalb eines grenzüberschreitenden Programms, wobei verschiedenste Instrumente, kontrastierende Stilrichtungen und verwandte Themen im musikalischen wie im allgemein künstlerischen Kulturbereich erlebt werden können.

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Italiano

“Questa registrazione abbaglierà i violinisti e scoraggerà i chitarristi”… Time Magazine.

Nel 1996 ha inciso in esclusiva, su incarico di M.me Emilia Segovia, Marquesa di Salobrena, composizioni inedite del marito. Ed anche questo disco è entrato nei charts di Billboard. Tra i più recenti dischi di Eliot Fisk sono, le 6 Trio Sonate BWV 525 –530, originalmente per organo (col cembalista Albert Fuller), le 6 Sonate e Partite BWV 1001 – 1006, di    J. S. Bach per violino solo (nella trascrizione di Fisk per chitarra), un disco dedicato alle opere scritte per Fisk dall’ eminente compositore Geroge Rochberg (colla Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center e Paula Robison) e una registrazione del Concierto Magico di Leonardo Balada con Mo. Jose’ Serebrier e l’ Orchestra di Barcellona, nominato da Amazon.com come uno dei 10 migliori dischi del anno 2001.

Universalmente riconosciuto, come uno dei più grandi chitarristi della propria generazione, Eliot Fisk è stato recentemente insignito della “Croce di Santa Isabella La Cattolica”, ovvero la più alta onorificenza autorizzata dal Re di Spagna per i servigi resi alla musica spagnola, solo tre volte nella storia: A. Segovia, Y. Menuhin, E. Fisk.

La serata di presentazione ufficiale si è tenuta in occasione dell’apertura “Boston Guitar Fest” di quest’anno (tra l’altro da lui fondato e diretto) nell’ambito della “Jordan Hall”, una delle sale statunitensi di più marcata tradizione storica.

Eliot Fisk, grazie all’incredibile virtuosismo ed all’ineguagliabile versatilità, è nel corso della propria carriera apparso sia in recital per chitarra sola, sia in duo con il celebre chitarrista spagnolo Paco Peña, presso le sale concertistiche più importanti che la tradizione musicale possa vantare ed è inoltre Docente presso l’Università del Mozarteum di Salisburgo, nonché presso il Conservatorio del New England – USA.

A lui il celebre e compianto Luciano Berio ha voluto dedicare la famosa “Sequenza per chitarra”. Egualmente, Eliot ha del famoso Maestro inciso innumerevoli opere appositamente trascritte.

Non manchiamo di ricordare in tal contesto le sue memorabili esecuzioni di trascrizioni di opere di Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Haydn, Paganini, oltre alle commissioni di compositori della fama di: Berio, Balda, Beaser, Bolcom, Montsalvatge, Maw, Rochberg, Schwertsik.

Ha peraltro collaborato con nomi del livello di: Ute Lemper, Richard Stolzman, Bill Frisell, Burhan Öchan, Joe Pass e Lucero Tena.

Futuri impegni prevedono una lunga tourneé Europea al fianco di Bill Frisell nel Febbraio 2013.

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