Eliot Fisk is one of the premiere classical guitarists on the planet. No stranger to Austin audiences, we’re thrilled to welcome him back for our International Series on Saturday night. Tickets are still available! There’s a preview of his program below, but first, we caught up with Eliot to talk about his views on classical music, the work of ACG, and why he thinks music can change the world.

Tell us about how you first met ACG’s Executive Director, Matt Hinsley.
UT Guitar Professor Adam Holzman is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Years ago he invited me to Austin to give a master class, and that’s when I got to meet and hear this young guitarist named Matt Hinsley for the first time. He played the first song from Vogelweide: Song Cycle by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. It’s a piece for voice and guitar, and he sang and played the guitar accompaniment at the same time! Not only did he play it perfectly, but I couldn’t even criticize his German.

What has kept you interested in the work of Austin Classical Guitar over the years?
As someone whose life has been inextricably linked to the classical guitar for so long, I’m thrilled not only with the concerts ACG presents, but with the education programs you guys have created, and with your innovations in classical guitar pedagogy. Because of this, ACG is reaching students around the globe. The organization has created so many opportunities for guitarists to work and thrive, as well as thought up new and exciting ways for musicians to be involved with the community and public service.

What do you think makes music special?
The arts, and I think music in particular, create experiences for people to come together in the appreciation of beauty. We as musicians are uniquely poised to provide opportunities for human connection and empathy. The live music experience creates a temporary feeling of community among audience members, who are often complete strangers.

Playing music as a group means coming together, joining forces, and creating something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Whether you’re singing in a choir or playing in a guitar ensemble, there is no “I” –  there is only “we,” and when differences are set aside in the pursuit of creating something special for people to enjoy, everyone wins. I think ACG is a wonderful example of this. Through its education programs in schools, concert series, guitar classes for incarcerated students, the Lullaby Project, and so much more, ACG reaches the community in unique, impactful, and innovative ways. To me, this is the future of classical music, and ACG is at the forefront of this movement.

More About Eliot

“I consider Eliot Fisk as one of the most brilliant, intelligent and gifted young musical artists of our times, not only amongst guitarists but in all the general field of instrumentalists. I put him at the top line of our artistic world.”
– Andrés Segovia

The final student of the great Andrés Segovia, Eliot Fisk has been dazzling audiences for decades. He is easily one of the most famous American guitarists of the last 50 years. Over that time, Fisk has performed all over the world, made 29 recordings, and was nominated for a Grammy award.

Check out Eliot’s performance with Paco Peña as part of an NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series!

Saturday Night’s Program

With music from all over the world, including selections from some of classical guitar’s most cherished composers, Eliot’s concert this Saturday will be as thrilling and eclectic as they come. Known for his adventurous and daring performances, Eliot will tackle two of Bach’s beloved Cello Suites, as well as a set of Paganini’s devilishly difficult Caprices for solo violin. Fisk was the first to transcribe these legendary pieces for guitar. We’re particularly excited to hear Eliot take on the infamous Caprice No. 24. Arguably one of the most challenging pieces written for violin – performing it on guitar is even more astounding!

Join us this Saturday for Eliot Fisk, Live at the AISD Performing Arts Center!

Austin Classical Guitar presents
Eliot Fisk, guitar
Saturday, November 4th , 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

Six pieces from Latin America:
CuecaAgustín Barrios Mangore  (1885-1944)
QuirpaVicente Emilio Sojo (1887-1974)
Vals en Re (“Tatania”)Antonio Lauro (1917-1986)
Los CuajaritosIgnacio “Indio” Figurero (1899-1995)
El NiñoAntonio Lauro (1917-1986)
El Coquí*José Ignacio Quintón (1881-1925)

Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007*Johann Sebastian Bach
Prelude(1685 – 1750)
Minuet I
Minuet II

Six Capricci from Op. 1*Niccolò Paganini
No. 20 in D major: Allegretto (dolce); Minore; Allegretto (dolce)(1782 – 1840)
No. 2 in B minor: Moderato
No. 11 in C major: Andante; Presto; Primo Tempo
No. 22 in F major: Marcato; Minore; Da Capo
No. 13 in Bb major: Allegro; Minore; Da Capo
No. 24 in A minor: Quasi Presto (Tema con Variaizioni)


Cello Suite No. 3 BWV 1009*J. S. Bach
Bourrée I
Bourrée II

Six pieces from Spain and Latin America:
Danza Española No. 5 (“Andaluza”)*Enrique Granados (1867-1916)
Homenaje (“Pour le tombeau de Debussy”)Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)
Estrellita*Manuel Ponce (1882-1948)
Torre Bermeja*Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)
Habanera*Ernesto Halffter (1905-1989)
Sevilla*Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)

* Transcribed for guitar by Eliot Fisk

Program subject to change