Guitar Studies at New England Conservatory provide students not only with a strong foundation in performance and related studies – repertoire, music theory, and music history – but also has flexibility to explore other genres, including Contemporary Improvisation ensembles, community engagement work, and collaboration with students across the conservatory. Guided by artist faculty Eliot Fisk and Jerome Mouffe ’12 DMA, students are encouraged to discover their unique artistic personalities and pursue their specific interests during the course of their program – they are given the license to expand concepts of musicianship and find their distinctive voice.
In addition to studio lessons with guitar faculty, students have the opportunity to participate in master classes throughout the academic year. Grisha Goryachev ’04, ’06 MM, '13 DMA visits NEC annually to present master classes for students. Other renowned artists who have taught classes over the last decade include Oscar Ghiglia, Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Angel Romero, Pepe Romero, Sharon Isbin, Joaquin Clerch, Pavel Steidl, Jorge Caballero, Adam Holzman, Rene Izquierdo, David Tanenbaum, David Leisner, and Marco Tamayo.
The NEC Guitar curriculum is centered on preparing all students for a successful career. It focuses on maximizing students' growth, performance opportunities, community engagement, artistic collaborations, and partnership with leading organizations in the field. Some recent additions to the curriculum include:
- Class recitals at the end of each semester for all guitar students – a new performance series has been established to give each student the opportunity to show the result of their work over the semester in a concert exclusively for guitarists.
- Expanded guitar ensemble – guitar ensemble has expanded to have both undergraduate and graduate students with performances at the end of each semester as part of the guitar recital series.
- Guitar Pedagogy – this brand new class, offered for the first time in 2021-22, will give students the tools needed to consider starting their own teaching studio.
- Entrepreneurial Musicianship/Community Engagement – all guitar students can explore electives in these areas to have experiential courses in a topic/area of their choice.
Faculty member Eliot Fisk was a student of renowned guitarist Andres Segovia - below is a letter from Maestro Segovia from Eliot Fisk's personal collection.
Guitar resources in Boston, many of which are led by NEC faculty and alumni, include Boston GuitarFest, the Boston Classical Guitar Society, the Eliot Fisk Guitar Academy (EFGA), and the Kithara Project, among others.
Among the many notable alumni from NEC include Grisha Goryachev (Flamenco Star), Adam Levin (URI, Umass Boston, Kithara Project), Scott Borg (Montgomery College, MD), Steven Lin (San Jose State Univ, CA), Maarten Straggier (New Music Expert), Ashwin Krishna (First ever Harvard/NEC), Dan Acsadi (Former BCGS director and current Director of education and community programs at Powers Music School in Belmont, MA).