Message from Boston GuitarFest Artistic Director, Eliot Fisk

In 2019 Boston Guitar Fest enters its 14th year. As a response to a tumultuous world we offer the theme Peace and Variations (pun on peace/piece intended!) Many of the greatest works in the guitar repertoire are in variation form. From the early ground bass variations of Narvaez and Mudarra through the numerous passacaglie and Ciaccone of the baroque through the Fantasies of Sor, the Variations of Giuliani, Paganini, Tarrega, Ponce, Britten, Maw and Rochberg the guitar lends itself to this form.

While music itself often serves to express Sturm und Drang, it also ultimately brings us a kind of peace: it offers us a place of refuge from a world that is often to awful to bear. Music always reminds us of the common inheritance of humanity. In the midst of turmoil and chaos it suggests the possibility of a more sane future than our species has yet been able to achieve.

2019 marks anniversaries of the death years of Heitor Villa-Lobos (60) Agustin Barrios (75) and of the under appreciated Baroque genius, Johann Jakob Froberger (350). Gfest XIV welcomes back two titans of the classical guitar: Ricardo Gallen and Joaquin Clerch, who will perform solo recitals in NEC’s legendary Jordan Hall on Thursday and Friday, June 27 and 28. Joined by my friends, I will follow on June 29.

GFest XIV will continue its dedication to contemporary music with a commission of a new work for solo guitar by Spanish composer Agustin Castilla-Avila inspired the Mexican legend of the Malinche, to be premiered by Zaira Meneses.

The festival will conclude with a gala student concert whereby some of the most
accomplished student course participants will perform in Jordan Hall to close out the festival.

Eliot Fisk, Boston GuitarFest Artistic Director 2018-09-02