A creative innovator linked to the great romantic tradition of the past, guitarist Eliot Fisk is one of the most exciting and unique artists before the public today. Known world wide for his adventurous repertoire and willingness to take art music into unusual venues (including schools, senior centers and even prisons!) he belongs, as his great mentor Andres Segovia once wrote, "at the top line of our artistic world."
Eliot Fisk has performed to dazzling critical and public acclaim in recital, as soloist with major orchestras and in a wide variety of chamber music combinations in most of the great concert halls of the world and in 1996 in a command performance in the Palacio de los Cordova in Granada, Spain, for then U.S. President Bill Clinton and King Juan Carlos of Spain and their families.
He has expanded the repertoire for the guitar enormously through countless ground breaking transcriptions of works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, and others as well as through commissions from leading composers as varied as Luciano Berio, Leonardo Balada, Robert Beaser, Wiliam Bolcom, Xavier Montsalvatge, Nicholas Maw, George Rochberg and Kurt Schwertsik. His numerous transcriptions and editions are published by Universal, Presser, Ricordi and Guitar Solo Publications.
Eliot Fisk's numerous recordings for the Musical Heritage Society, DGG, Arabesque, and EMI have elicited unqualified praise and even entered the Billboard charts as bestsellers. Most of these recordings include repertoire never before performed on the guitar such as his legendary reading of the 24 solo violin Capricci, Op. 1 of Paganini ("Has to be heard to be believed!" - Ruggiero Ricci), his recordings of contemporary works by Berio and Rochberg or his recording with Paula Robison of Robert Beaser's Mountain Songs, which was nominated for a Grammy. Guitar Review wrote that his versions of the complete Bach unaccompanied violin Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 "place him alongside Casals and Gould as one of this century's greatest interpreters of Bach." On a lighter note, Gramophon Magazine described his transcriptions for violin, cello and guitar of Bach's Violin Sonatas BWV 1014 - 1019: "If exploring the instrumental potential of the continuo is Baroque music's equivalent of exploring Star Trek's final frontier, then guitarist Eliot Fisk may be its Captain Kirk and his transcription of Bach's Six Violin Sonatas its Starship Enterprise".
Eliot Fisk's forays into unconventional musical territory have included collaborations with chanteuse, Ute Lemper; Turkish music expert, Burhan Ocal; jazz legend, Joe Pass; and master of castanets, Lucero Tena. Upcoming projects include the premiere of a new Quintet for guitar and strings by Leonardo Balada with the Miro String Quartet; the premiere of a new guitar concerto by Robert Beaser; and a coast to coast tour of the US resulting in a duo CD with flamenco guitar great, Paco Pena.
Eliot Fisk was the last direct pupil of Andres Segovia and also studied interpretation under the legendary harpsichordist, Ralph Kirkpatrick, at Yale University from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1976. Called by one New York Times headline "A Fiery Missionary to the Unconverted," Eliot Fisk devotes considerable energy to teaching. He is Professor at the Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he teaches in 5 different languages, and in Boston at the New England Conservatory. His students have come from all corners of the earth and many have gone on to become important performers and teachers in their own right.