Niibori Guitar Orchestra Festival '96 was held at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama on August 18, 1996. Lots of excellent guitar orchestras by Niibori Method came from various places of Japan to the international city, Yokohama where Niibori group was located. The highlight of the festival was the performance of the guitar orchestra consisted of 400 players. As long as I know, it was the first trial in the world and worth to be listed in the Guinnes Book of Records. Of course, the orchesta made full use of Niibori Method Original Guitars (e.g. the alto guitar, the bass guitar, the contrabass guitar, the cembalo guitars, guitarron and so on that are coming to be popular in the world these days) and played "Scene 4. Waltz of the forest from the symphonic poem 'The God of SAI'". It was especially composed for the large-scaled guitar orchestra by Dr. Niibori who was the principal of Niibori Guitar Music School and ph.D. in music. In 2000, it is supposed that the guitar orchestra consists of 1000 players will play the masterpiece in Yokohama.

The 400 players each had the different career of learning the guitar, different job and different age, but their common point was that they all has been learning the guitar by Niibori Method. Although they could rehearse only a few hours in the day before the performance and on the very day with all members, they created the artistic music as one. It can be said that it was a miracle or Niibori magic. we believe that it was a result of 39 years of Niibori group's history of 'the research and development of the guitar, ways of playing, scores and the system of the education'.


In the popular page of this magazine, 'You can be a musician!' (page 20) written by Dr. Niibori, voices from world famous people such as Louise Walker, Andres Segovia, Maria Louise Anido, Sunday times and so on sent to the Niibori Guitar Orchestra since 1970 has been introduced. I would like to pick out the recent ones and introduce them here.

* 'Dr. Niibori has a vision within the developments and enrichments he has made to guitar education, performance and orchestration. The blending of the instruments, the musical talents of the players and the visual theatre of the God of SAI is truly inspirational. The Niibori guitar orchestra in Yokohama is the centric of interest and direction from Australia and may I add, from the guitar playing centres of the world.'
(Edward Roberts, bachelor of education, examiner for the Australian Music examinations board of Western Australia, after he watched the international concert of Niibori Guitar Orchestra consisted of 114 players in Sydney and Melbourne)

* 'It was Chopin who said, "There is only one thing more beautiful than one guitar... and that is two guitars..." The sound of an orchestra of guitars therefore, created a magical sound that was greatly appreciated by the Australian public. In my opinion, the guitar is an instrument which is an orchestra in itself. It is an instrument of great versatility which can suit all musical styles and forms. To me, a guitar orchestra is like an epitome of the instrument itself. It is able to bring many guitarists together to form an enriching whole like a giant guitar able to produce an immense range of sounds and textures. As the guitar is a solo instrument and not a conventional orchestral one, the average guitarist is hardly ever given the opportunity to play as part of a large ensemble. Therefore guitarists miss out on learning orchestral skills and form feeling the great satisfaction musicians get from being part of a large group creating music together. A guitar orchestra seems like the perfect solution to the problem, allowing guitarists to work together to learn these skills and share music together.'
(Salvatore Strano, professor of the guitar in Australia)

* 'The expertise of ensemble playing of the Niibori Guitar Orchestra is of the highest order of any international orchestra I have seen in Australia or the United Kingdom. The execution of and articulation of passages was as close to perfect as possible. I was thrilled by the dynamic expression and articulation of the Guitar Orchestra. Once again the most controlled and best execution of classical music I have seen of any East or Western Orchestra. The Niibori Guitar Ladies Quartet were outstanding in their musicality and articulation. The sound and sonority of the 12 string was timeless and moving in its quality, more expressive than harpsichord or guitar. Overall, the Niibori Guitar Orchestra presented true mastery in ensemble, solo and chamber performance with great musical spirit and feeling. Mr. Hiroki Niibori conducted with true mastery, authority and musical inspiration. Australia was honoured to be privileged to participate in these concerts, which were inspiring to myself and my music colleagues in Australia.
(Matthew Fagan, guitarist, composer in Australia)

* 'Your creation of a guitar orchestra is one of the most ingenious concepts of our times. What you have done defies the imagination Wonderful, wonderful! Beyond my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined that Mozart, Bach and Beethoven could sound so absolutely beautiful, played by an orchestra of guitars. Your arrangements, the conducting, timing, movements and harmonies are absolutely superb. Dr. Niibori, I am sure that as your music infiltrates the entire world, and it will, you will be celebrated in history as one of the greatest creators of music in this century and into the next. You are to be applauded, your ingenious musical creation is truly international and without boundaries.
(Earl McMilin, Ph. D., Executive Vice President)

For questions, advice & requests about Monthly Harmony,

Niibori Guitar Music Academy, Editorial Office

143-14 Fujisawa, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0052 Japan
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