Languages: German, English, Spanish, Italian
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 (including schools, senior centers, logging camps and prisons). After 45 years before the public he remains as his mentor Andres Segovia once wrote, “at the top line of our artistic world.”
Called “the devil’s guitarist” by one critic (for his playing of Paganini) he has performed with orchestras such the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Houston Symphony, performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez; the Orchestra of St. Lukes, performing and recording Vivaldi, The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, premiering a new concerto by Daniel Bernard Roumain and The American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies premiering Robert Beaser’s Guitar Concerto.
Eliot also premiered Luciano Berio’s Chemin V for guitar and chamber orchestra with the Orchester der Beethovenhalle conducted by the composer.
Eliot Fisk has revolutionized the guitar repertoire with innumerable transcriptions (including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, Schubert and Albeniz) and through 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.
Many of Eliot’s recordings have entered the Billboard charts as best sellers.
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. Eliot Fisk is Professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and in Boston at the New England Conservatory.
In June 2006, King Juan Carlos of Spain, awarded Eliot the “Cruz de Isabel la Catolica” for his service to the cause of Spanish music. Earlier recipients of this honor included Andres Segovia and Yehudi Menuhin.
Eliot Fisk is Founder and Artistic Director of Boston GuitarFest an annual cross-disciplinary and cross- cultural extravaganza co-sponsored by the New England Conservatory and Northeastern University.
Languages: English, Spanish, Italian
Zaira Meneses, Mexico’s “First Lady of the classical guitar” (Diario de Xalapa) is a cutting edge 21st century artist celebrated on the concert stage, in the international press and on the web as “Mexico’s cultural ambassador on the international circuit.”
Praised by the New York Times as “an arresting performer full of colorful touches”, Meneses has built a stellar reputation for her warm sound, limpid technique and superb natural musicality. She has performed in many of the great concert halls of the world including New York City’s Alice Tully and YMHA halls, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Salzburg’s Wiener Saal, and the Great Hall of the Shanghai Conservatory. At the same time her many initiatives to bring art music into new venues and to new audiences have been celebrated on the web through her ever popular Newsletter and numerous other internet outlets.
Ms. Meneses is also active in the field of contemporary music. Works dedicated to her include the exquisite “Berceuse” for flute and guitar by Robert Beaser (premiered at Boston Guitar Fest in June, 2014) and a concerto for guitar and orchestra entitled “Ella”, by award winning composer Stephanie Ann Boyd, premiered at Boston Guitar Fest in 2016.
Zaira Meneses first performed as soloist with orchestra at the age of 12 in Vivaldi’s Concerto in D major. At the age of 17 she was top prize winner at the prestigious guitar competition in the legendary guitar mecca of Paracho, Michoacan, which led to performances of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concerto de Aranjuez in major venues throughout Mexico. In 2014 she returned to Xalapa as the first female soloist in the long history of the legendary OSX (Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa) in a concert broadcast live on Mexican television.
She also performs in recital and with orchestra on four continents with her husband, virtuoso guitarist, Eliot Fisk.
Zaira Meneses was born in Xalapa, Veracruz (Mexico). From an early age she showed great talent for music, studying both classical guitar and voice and appearing frequently in a wide variety of venues both as a guitarist and singer. Her first solo guitar recital at the age of 12 included works by Mexican composers Manuel M Ponce, Julio Cesar Oliva, Ernesto Garcia de Leon and Brazil’s Heitor Villa-Lobos. By the age of 15 Zaira Meneses was already teaching guitar and music history at the famous “Universidad Veracruzana”, one of the most important universities in Mexico. She also received an important award from the Mexican foundation, FONCA, for her pioneering series of outreach concerts and music workshops in orphanages throughout the State of Veracruz .
In addition to her performing career Zaira Meneses is a successful entrepreneur for the arts. She was engaged for some years by Syracuse University’s “Say Yes” program, training teachers in the techniques of arts outreach and bringing music into unusual venues. Supported by a generous grant from the Albert Augustine Foundation she is also founder and director of the Guitar & Friends Concert Series in Boston where she has directed a series of outreach concerts that bring art music to under-served areas. Ms. Meneses used a portion of her budget to pay modest fees to students who often joined her in these unconventional venues.
Meneses is also Director of Outreach at Boston Guitar Fest where each year she forges new connections between the Festival and the community. Zaira Meneses is the creator of the popular “Z Newsletter”. Meneses is also a passionate and sought after teacher. She directs the Guitar Performance Seminar for classical guitar majors at the New England Conservatory and also teaches younger students through the NEC Preparatory School and Walnut Hill School for the Arts.
She lives in Newton, Mass., with her husband, Eliot Fisk, and the couple’s daughter, Raquel.