Chicago-born classical guitarist who has has studied music with the luminaries of the guitar world, attended conservatory and several major universities-all with scholarship. His performances have led him to the stages of numerous festivals, guitar competitions, and universities throughout North America. Now based from Fox Lake/Antioch Illinois and Kenosha WI.
*Weddings(wedding processionals, recessionals and receptions since 1998-available to provide a variety of lovely sacred or secular music to make your special day perfect..
Price Range: $50-1000$
Gig Length: 60 - 120 minutes
Languages: English, Spanish
Insurance: $10,000 - Personal Injury
What to Expect
Neil’s Concert repertoire spans four centuries, and includes music from all around the world.
Baroque lute suites, classical, romantic masterworks, Spanish classics, South American showpieces, Celtic Aires, arrangements of modern popular tunes, and avant-garde curiosities are mainstays of his repertoire.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, his musical passion was first stirred by watching relatives playing rock, blues, and heavy metal music. Initially self-taught, he learned to play bass guitar by ear- and by reading tablature from guitar magazines. By age fourteen he had dropped out of school, and was playing bass in local rock bands.
By age twenty, Neil moved to Wisconsin with relatives and soon thereafter he discovered classical music- first hearing the solo string works of Bach, Paganini caprices, and several famous concertos which immediately captivated him. After more than a year spent watching PBS concerts of great performers, VHS videos, and collecting and learning to read sheet music, Neil decided to visit the conservatory of music in Milwaukee Wisconsin, to inquire about lessons, which were too expensive, but discovered that there scholarship competition approaching.
Geisler entered the competition, and managed to perform solo pieces by J.S. Bach for the conservatory jury-somehow winning third prize in the advanced division despite having never taken an actual cello lesson. With this came the ability to finally afford music lessons -at age 21. While studying ‘cello at the conservatory soon thereafter, Neil explored the music library and it’s collections-and there discovered classical guitar repertoire -and a world of guitar music previously unheard in his life. The following year he won scholarships to study both classical guitar and cello, but made the difficult decision to quit studying ‘cello at WCM -because it was too difficult on the hands to practice long hours on both instruments, and even more difficult to procure accompanists(which are a necessity for a string players’ repertoire).
His first classical guitar lessons were Raymond Mueller, an amazing teacher who did a wonderful job of introducing Neil to standard repertoire, basic music fundamentals, and awareness of technique that had been previously unknown.
The following two years Neil won top prize in the WCM annual guitar competition, and, studied with George Lindquist, then, finally with Christopher Laughlin. Laughlin, who helped him to prepare Rodrigo’s “Concierto De Aranjuez” for the UW-Milwaukee concerto competition in 1999, holds a master’s in music(guitar) from Yale, and gave crucial advice about attending universities, competitions, and-ultimately convinced Neil to matriculate into the degree program at UWM. He finished at UW with a 3.6. GPA and, that Summer(June 2000) Neil was awarded a scholarship and performed in several masterclasses at a popular international guitar festival in Florida. It was there that Neil’s talent was broadly noticed, and the trip resulted in an invitation by renowned guitar virtuoso and pedagogue Stephen Robinson to study music full-time at Stetson University that Fall. Within a few brief months arrangements had been made, academic and music scholarships were awarded, and Neil sold his 1969 Pontiac Trans-Am(A car that he had personally built and restored, his only remaining asset, in order to afford the journey South).
He arrived at Stetson via Greyhound Bus in Fall 2000, with only twenty dollars, a bicycle, duffel bag, and a guitar.
During the three years at Stetson he studied music, conducting, acting, philosophy, and world religions.
Neil was on the dean’s list every semester of college, and nominated to the National Dean’s List in 2002. May 2003 he graduated in the top one percent of the Stetson graduating class- with honors. By then he had had private lessons and performed in many masterclasses -with the greatest performers, artists and professors in the world. Neil decided to postpone graduate studies, and moved South that Summer to Key West, Florida- where he worked as a guitarist, teacher, street performer, and eco-adventure kayak and conservation guide from 2003-2005.
While living there he also volunteered in community music programs and avian rescues, mastered kayak fishing on the flats and reef, and learned sailing( becoming a first mate p/t running reef and back country tours).
Geisler decided to move to Colorado after three years island bound, moving from Florida finally after hurricanes Katrina and Wilma devastated the area. He eventually decided that the state of Colorado had the most opportunities –and a very renowned virtuoso professor named Ricardo Iznaola. The following year Neil formally auditioned, was accepted, and awarded an endowed scholarship to began graduate studies for 2006-7 academic year at Denver University.
In 2011 Geisler was forced to leave Colorado due to continuing respiratory illness- caused primarily by the altitude and ground-level air pollution. He reluctantly closed his studio in Cherry Creek, CO, and relocated back to the Chicago Area.
He currently teaches in Kenosha WI, Lake Geneva WI, and Chicago Il---and performs everywhere in between!
Additional Booking Notes
I need nothing but space, I own a battery powered PA that is VERY high quality.
Past Booked Events
|September 16, 2017 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm||House Concert|
|November 10, 2016 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm||Corporate Event|
|September 17, 2015||Cultural Event|
Concert Programs from 2014-2015
(Custom programs are also available to suit just about any occasion)
Introduction and Variations on a Theme of Mozart, Op.9 -Fernando Sor (1778-1839)
From “Castles of Spain”-Federico Moreno Torroba (1891-1982)
Manzares el Real(To the Fair Maiden)
Siguenza(The Princess Sleeps)
“Espana”, Op. 165- Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)
Piezas Characteristicas Op. 92
Violin Sonata in A minor BWV 1003- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 -1750)
Cinq Hommages Francais- Arnaud Dumond (b. 1950)
Homage A Ravel
Choro de Saudade ————Agustin Barrios Mangore (1885-1944)
Julia Florida (Barcarola)
Vals in Dm, Opus 8 #3
Theme and Variations “La Frescobalda”-Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)
Adelita-Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909)
Recuerdos de la Alhambra
Two Celtic Pieces- (Trad. arr. Russell)
Niel Gow’s Lament for the Death of his Second Wife
Spatter the Dew
Etude 11 -Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
Asturias (Leyenda)- Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)
Fandanguillo op. 36 -Joaquin Turina (1882-1949)
Rafaga Op. 53
Koyunbaba, Suite, Opus 18 -Carlo Domeniconi (b. 1947)
Una Limosna por El Amor de Dios- Agustin Barrios
Vals Venezelano #2,#3- Antonio Lauro
Tango En Skai- Roland Dyens
Here, There and Everywhere- Lennon and McCartney
Influences & Inspiration
Classical musicians throughout history, and- Spanish and Latin American classical guitarists.
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