Message from Boston GuitarFest Artistic Director, Eliot Fisk

Boston GuitarFest 2019: “Peace and Variations”

In 2019 Boston GuitarFest 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 virtuoso variations of Giuliani, Paganini, Tárrega, 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: a place of refuge from a world that can feel too 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.

On June 26th GFest welcomes for the first time the legendary keyboard artist and musiciologist, Robert Levin, who will perform works of Bach and Mozart and improvise live on a theme of John Dowland, and on June 28th we welcome back Cuban virtuoso, Joaquín Clerch, also in solo recital in NEC’s legendary Jordan Hall. I will follow on June 29th in a mixed program of works by solo works by Santiago de Murica, Louis Couperin, S.L. Weiss, Fernando Sor, Robert Beaser and George Rochberg as well  as Schubert’s famous Arpeggione Sonate with virtuoso violist, Nicholas Cords.

GFest XIV continues our dedication to contemporary music with the debut of a new work for solo guitar by Spanish composer, Agustín Castilla-Ávila, inspired the Mexican legend of the Malinche, to be premiered by Mexican virtuosa, Zaira Meneses.

The festival will conclude with a pair of gala student concerts whereby some of the most accomplished student  participants will perform alongside GFest faculty in Jordan Hall.

Our warmest welcome to all who join us here in Boston and whose presence makes this wonderful festival possible!

Eliot Fisk, Boston GuitarFest Artistic Director 2018-09-02 and updated on 2019-06-03