(bPhiladelphia, 10 Aug 1954). American guitarist. His teachers included not only Andrès Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia and Alivio Diaz, but also the harpsichordists Ralph Kirkpatrick and Albert Fuller at Yale, where he founded the guitar department and where he earned his BA (1976) and MM (1977). He made his solo début in 1976 at Alice Tully Hall, New York, and in 1980 won the International Classical Guitar Competition in Gargnano, Italy. His London début, at the Wigmore Hall, was in 1984. He taught at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, 1982–9, and in 1989 was appointed to the Salzburg Mozarteum. He has appeared frequently in solo recitals, as an orchestral soloist and in chamber music. In the tradition of his mentor, Andrés Segovia, Fisk has expanded the repertory of the guitar through his own transcriptions, which include works by Bach (the sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin), Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini (the 24 Caprices) and Scarlatti. His playing is marked by a boldly personal interpretive sense and a prodigious ease of technique. In contemporary repertory he is especially noted as an exponent of the works of Berio and George Rochberg.
THOMAS F. HECK
(b Holden, MA, 23 Dec 1820; dWorcester, MA, 17 Sept 1894). American brass instrument inventor and manufacturer. He worked in Worcester from 1842 until 1887. Between 1866 and 1873 he obtained five American patents for improvements in valved brass instruments. Although at least one keyed bugle by Fiske is known, and one cornet with double-piston Vienna valves, most of his instruments were made with rotary valves. Towards the end of his career he also made instruments with Périnet piston valves. The most distinctive of his designs was a triangular arrangement of three string-linkage rotary valves operated by rods passing through cylinders containing coil return springs. This type of arrangement was also patented by Joseph Higham of Manchester in 1857. Almost all Fiske’s instruments were made of nickel silver.
Fiske was acclaimed one of the finest makers of cornets in the USA by Harvey B. Dodworth, the leader of the Dodworth Band in New York. His business continued in spite of a disastrous fire in 1854, and on his retirement in 1887 the business was sold to the C.G. Conn Co. Fiske’s instruments are in many American collections, including the John H. Elrod Memorial Collection, Germantown, Maryland; the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan; the Shrine to Music Museum, University of South Dakota; the Sousa Collection, University of Illinois, Urbana; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Worcester Historical Society.
ROBERT E. ELIASON
(b Surbiton, 11 Sept 1910; d Ambleside, 22 July 1987). English musicologist and music educationist. After taking the BA in English at Wadham College, Oxford, in 1932, he studied composition with Herbert Howells at the RCM, London, and criticism with H.C. Colles, until 1937, when he was awarded the Oxford DMus. In 1939 he joined the BBC, where he produced educational broadcasts for the armed forces (1948–53) and music talks for the Third Programme (1953–9). He left in 1959 but continued to be well known as a broadcaster, and often chaired broadcast musical discussions. From 1968 to 1975 he was general editor of Eulenburg (London) miniature scores.
Fiske wrote popular books on ballet, chamber music and the music of Beethoven, and his school books were very successful. He had a fluent and lively literary style. His more serious research touched on several areas, but was particularly concerned with English 18th-century theatre music; his book on the subject was an important pioneering work in a previously neglected area of study. He published an important historical and analytical study on Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and a survey of ‘Scottish’ music composed and performed outside Scotland by musicians of other nationalities, as well as editions, compositions (mainly songs for children), folksong arrangements and carols.