Scholarship Fund

Thanks to the Hiksdal Fund, it has actually been possible to lower the price for festival participation. Additional small scholarships may be awarded in cases of extreme financial need. For more information on this please e-mail Robert Hanson.


In May of 2002 my husband Thomas Hiksdal and I went on a wonderful trip to Spain. We ended up spending most of our time in the beautiful and historic city of Granada. We were walking down one of the main boulevards one morning and I happened to see a poster advertising a guitar concert. The name “Eliot Fisk” jumped out at me. Some years ago I owned a music store on Cape Cod, and we bought and sold classical guitars so I knew a bit about that world. Enough to know that a chance to hear Eliot Fisk – one of the world’s best – was not to be missed. And hearing him in Granada was just icing on the cake! The concert was scheduled for the next night, at the Auditorio Manual de Falla, on the grounds of the Alhambra. We bought our tickets.

The next night we walked up the hill, through the Alhambra gates, to the Auditorio, a (relatively) contemporary concert hall. We then were treated to the most incredible concert – a solo performance by Eliot Fisk, alone on the stage with his guitar, holding us and the rest of the packed hall completely transfixed. Thomas and I were almost speechless as we walked back down the hill afterwards in the lovely May evening.

From then on, for the rest of his life, Thomas referred to this concert as the apex of a lifetime of listening to music. The best, the most profound, the most meaningful.

Later, when I was thinking of an appropriate way to remember Thomas, and thinking about what was most meaningful to him, I of course thought of music. Thomas played many instruments, and went to hear live music as often as he could – and, perhaps most presciently, the design of our house (Thomas was an architect) centered around music, around our beautiful Steinway, and around having a space available to present concerts of live music. I immediately thought – well, if it’s music for Thomas, then I have to start with the musician who spoke to Thomas the loudest – Eliot Fisk. And Eliot said yes.

With Eliot’s guiding determination to use our energy and emotion to create something lasting, we then joined forces to create the Thomas Hiksdal Scholarship Fund of the Boston GuitarFest.

Catherine Cramer
Sept. 2009