Guitarist Carries on Master's Classical Crusade Eliot Fisk's New Recording Features Works by Andres Segovia

Article excerpt

"It was Segovia's guitar that transfixed me and love for his music that sealed my fate as a guitarist," says internationally renowned guitarist Eliot Fisk. In turn, the late Andres Segovia, regarded by many as the premier guitarist of this century, believed Fisk was just the musician to carry his mantle into the future.

Segovia wrote in a 1981 letter, "I consider Eliot Fisk as one of the most brilliant, intelligent, and gifted artists of our times, not only among guitarists but in all the general field of instrumentalists."

As a testimonial to Segovia's fondness and admiration for his young colleague, the legendary guitarist's widow recently gave Fisk a virtual treasure chest of 40 of Segovia's unpublished solo works. This sparked Fisk's latest recording project, "Canciones Populares," released Oct. 15 on the MusicMasters label in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Segovia's death. In addition, Fisk will perform selections from this recording over the course of several concerts in the United States this season, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Dec. 6, Manhattan School of Music on Feb. 13, and San Francisco on Feb. 21. Segovia's legacy Fisk says, "This project is not just an opportunity to express my love and admiration for the maestro, but an attempt to remind the world of his legacy.... There's nothing being done on the guitar today that can't be related to some seed planted by Segovia: He established the guitar repertoire as stretching back five centuries; he got the philharmonic {non-guitarist} composers to write for the guitar; he even understood the necessity of welding aspects of folk music with the intellectual excellence of the classical tradition." The manuscripts included a collection of folk tunes from around the world (the "Canciones Populares") as well as 16 studies, many of them dedicated to Segovia's wife. She wrote, "I gave Eliot Fisk these unpublished works of Maestro with great expectations and faith because I consider him to be a great guitarist and a magnificent musician.... I consider him a spiritual son of the Maestro." The Philadelphia-born Fisk graduated from Yale, where he later founded the guitar department. He got his first Segovia recording at age 7 and finally met Segovia in 1974. Though there was never any real formal teacher-student relationship - Segovia had considered Fisk's gift fully formed when they first met - the two began regular meetings, usually in Segovia's New York room at the Westbury, during which Fisk would play for the master. …