ABOUT ELIOT IVANHOE
Born in Brooklyn in 1947, Eliot began studying piano at the age of 5, later adding mandolin and Jew’s harp. He studied baroque harmony, part writing, and composition with Hugh Gault in college and, between 15 and about 40 years old, wrote many unpublished songs. In 1968, based on his composition of a classical-style sonata for piano, he was accepted to the annual summer Dartmouth music festival, where he continued his studies in piano. Thanks to the compassionate help of music teacher and composer Kirk Nurock, Eliot was liberated from the classical exclusivity of his early training, and became more expansive in his compositions.
In 2006, after suffering from illness secondary to recently diagnosed multiple sclerosis, Eliot put together a CD of new music, writing,
“In the spring of 2006, I spent a few months sick, in despair and horror. It seemed to me then that I was experiencing the beginning of the end of my life. My initial suffering was incapable of verbal expression, so I began a practice of keyboard improvisation, which expanded into pure enjoyment.”
Now, in good health, Eliot continues to make music that he bases on improvisations in various styles as driven by the various moods and aspects of the process of his life.