“…one of the most electrifying classical guitarists of his generation.”
“Fisk… was masterful, with the flair that separates the true virtuoso from a mere technician, tossing off fiendish runs with theatrical aplomb.”
“Eliot Fisk proved once more that he is a connoisseur’s guitarist. His programming is invariably imaginative, his technique effortless…If you didn’t know better, you’d think playing the guitar was easy.”
Eliot Fisk has been called the “Paganini of the Guitar” and “is noted the world over for his dazzling guitar technique and the excitement and artistry he brings to his performances” (Acoustic Guitar). The New Yorker Magazine declared Eliot “The king of the American classical guitar,” while The New York Times said of his January 29th, 2012, appearance at the New York Guitar Marathon, “ It was worth staying until the final set of the sprawling concert, when the eminent guitarist Eliot Fisk, played…Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XI…one of the most important pieces in the modern guitar repertory.” The Chicago Sun Tribune duly noted that “When Fisk plays the classical guitar; it becomes an instrument of seemingly endless possibilities.”
Since his stunning debut at New York’s Alice Tully Hall in 1976 (“None in recent years has been so interesting and brilliant,” New York Times) Eliot Fisk has become one of the most sought after musical artists of our times.
In June 2006, by order of King Juan Carlos of Spain, he was awarded the “Cruz de Isabel la Catolica” for his service to the cause of Spanish music. Earlier recipients of this rarely bestowed honor included Andres Segovia and Yehudi Menuhin.
Eliot Fisk’s appearances and collaborations include regular performances on five continents. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, the American Composer’s Orchestra at Zankel Hall (in a new concerto by Robert Beaser), the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts (in a new concerto by Daniel Bernard Roumain), the Orchester der Beethovenhalle in Bonn (performing Chemin V by Luciano Berio, also, also composed for Eliot), the North Carolina Symphony; at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Da Camera Society of Los Angles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at Stanford Lively Arts, Spivey Hall (Atlanta) and at the Frick Collection and at Alice Tully Hall (New York) among many others. Eliot was introduced to Europe at such venues as Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Wigmore Hall (London), the Berliner Philharmonie, the Koelner Philharmonie, the Musikverein (Vienna), the Teatro di San Carlo(Naples), Sala Verdi (Milano), Teatro della Pergola (Florence), Sala Manuel de Falla (Granada), the Teatro Nacional (Madrid) and many more.
His collaborations include concerts with guitarists Paco Peña, Angel Romero, and Bill Frisell; clarinetist, Richard Stoltzman; flutist Paula Robison; the Miro and Shanghai Quartets as well as performances with his wife, the highly praised guitarist, Zaira Meneses, among many others.
Eliot Fisk has transformed the repertoire of the classical guitar through his ground breaking transcriptions (including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, Albeniz etc.) through countless 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 countless creative collaborations with other musicians in classical, flamenco, jazz and world music styles. Eliot Fisk’s numerous recordings, many of which have even entered the Billboard charts as best sellers, have introduced much of this repertoire to an international audience and have elicited unqualified praise from musicians, critics and the public at large. His two most recent CDs, released at the end of 2010 by Wildner Records to international acclaim, include “The Red Guitar”, featuring new works written for and arranged by Eliot Fisk by Corigliano, Raffman, Beaser and Rochberg, and “Ein Kleines Requiem”, which features the world premiere recording of a new masterpiece by Austrian composer Kurt Schwertsik written for and with Eliot Fisk.
In addition to his performing career, Eliot Fisk is founder and director of Boston Guitar Fest, an annual cross disciplinary and cross cultural extravaganza co-sponsored by the New England Conservatory and Northeastern University. The Festival has received warm encouragement from U.S. Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, and the late Edward Kennedy, as well as from Congressman Barney Frank and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The theme of Boston Guitar Fest VII, which will run from June 20-24, 2012, is “Back to Bach”, celebrating the glorious music of this greatest of all composers. (Please see www.bostonguitarfest.org for more information).
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 also devotes considerable energy to teaching. He is Professor at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he teaches in 5 languages, and in Boston at the New England Conservatory where in 2010 he was awarded the Krasner Prize as “teacher of the year”. His students have come from all corners of the earth. Many have gone on to become world famous performers and teachers.
Eliot Fisk lives in Boston, Salzburg and, whenever possible, in his beloved Granada, Spain, with his wife, guitarist, Zaira Meneses, and their ten year old daughter, Raquel. Eliot has recently discovered the joys of Twitter and frequently tweets on a variety of topics in various languages.