Chestertown, MD, January 29, 2002 — Eliot Fisk—world-renowned classical guitar virtuoso—will speak on "Soul Music: The Importance of Art Music in a Democratic World," Friday, February 22, 2002, at Washington College, and perform in the newly renovated Prince Theatre in downtown Chestertown on Sunday, February 24, 2002. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Gertrude Goldenberg Education Fund for the Department of Education and Outreach of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Society.
A native of Philadelphia and educated at Yale University where he studied with harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick, Fisk found his musical voice through the guitar and was coached privately by his idol, Andres Segovia, for several years. In 1981, Segovia wrote: "I consider Eliot Fisk as one of the most brilliant, intelligent and gifted young musical artists of our time, not only among guitarists but in all the general field of instrumentalists. His clear and flexible technique, his noble style of interpreting the beauty of classic compositions as well as the colorful music of today, put him at the top line of our artistic world."
Fisk has not fallen short of Segovia's mark. Over the past two decades, he has earned a worldwide reputation as an innovative, risk-taking, imaginative interpreter of classical guitar, frequently including his own transcriptions in performance as well as specially commissioned works by composers as varied as Luciano Berio, Robert Beaser, Cristobal Halffter, Nicholas Maw, Xavier Monsalvatge and George Rochberg. In 1996, he was voted Best Classical Guitarist by Guitar Player magazine, and he has over 20 CD releases to his credit.
In addition to performing as a recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestras on four continents, Fisk is deeply involved in educational and outreach programs to bring the instructive and uplifting powers of music to schools, churches, prisons and senior citizen centers. He also teaches at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and at the New England Conservatory in Boston.
On Friday, February 22, Fisk will speak on his musical outreach mission. His talk "Soul Music: The Importance of Art Music in a Democratic World" will be held in Washington College's Norman James Theatre, William Smith Hall, at 4 p.m., and sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, the Sophie Kerr Committee and the Campus Events and Visitors Committee. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
On Sunday, February 24, Fisk will perform at 3 p.m. in the Prince Theatre, 210 High Street, Chestertown. His performance will include works by Bach, Scarlatti, Paganini, Beaser's "Mountain Songs" in duet with local violist Michael Strauss, and the D major guitar quintet of Bocherini, accompanied by the Mid-Atlantic String Quartet. Tickets are $20 for students, $35 for general admission, and $50 for prime, reserved seating. All proceeds benefit the music outreach programs of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Society. Tickets are available at the Compleat Bookseller in Chestertown or by calling 410-810-3403.
"We need music in the schools," said Fisk in an interview with Hope magazine, summarizing his commitment to music outreach and education. "Music sensitizes us. Music makes people aware of other people. Music inculcates good study habits. Music activates the soul. It's a tragedy that in the feeding frenzy of the austerity budgets we've deleted music and art from the lives of our young people, and our republic will be the poorer for it."