Doctor of Arts and Philosophy

Dr. Hiroki Niibori
Hiroki Niibori, the originator of the first guitar orchestra in the world, was born in Azabu, Tokyo and grew up in Suginami. He now lives in Hayama in Kanagawa prefecture. He was interested in ensemble music as a child, so formed and led an ensemble when he was in elementary school. When he was in a high school, he produced operettas with his friends. He not only composed and arranged music, but also made great effort to improve the versatility of the guitar and to realize his ambition of a new orchestral sound.
The cembalo guitar, piccolo guitar, soprano guitar, alto guitar, bass guitar and guitarron which are called 'Niibori Method Original Guitars for ensemble' were all originated by him

In 1961, Kunitachi College of Music adopted his method and invited him to be the first professor of the guitar. He taught there for 25 years. He also established the Japan Educational Guitar Association (NKG) to demonstrate his way of teaching the guitar to the guitar world.

He also formed Niibori Guitar Orchestra; the first professional guitar orchestra in the world where he still serves as the main conductor.

He and his orchestra have had special concerts with Louise Walker ('70), J. Beherend ('71), Maria Louise Aniedo ('71), J. Cardoso ('80) and other world famous guitarists. And he has also conducted three symphonic orchestras including Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. He and his guitar orchestra enjoyed successful concert tours in London ('74), Spain and France ('78), Southeast Asia ('81) and China ('92) becoming world famous artists. The British news paper, Sunday Times admired his originality in using various sizes of guitars in an ensemble as well as their performance. They wrote 'Japanese great invention and success', and broadcasted a special program of them. Also, a LP record was made at the BBC's request and it sold well there. They were admired as the 'Miracle of the Japanese' in Spain, 'New history, great musicians were born' in Singapore. An LP record made in Spain was imported to Japan, and some of the performances were produced as a cassette tape named 'Spanish typical music' which was sold in the Alhambra Palace. Especially noted is the 'Remembrance of Alhambra (Recuerdos De La Alhambra)' which appears at the beginning of the tape. It deeply impresses everyone who listens even now.

Dr. Niibori and his Grand Orchestra, consisting of 80 members, were invited by the Chinese Government in 1992 to hold goodwill concerts to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. The program consisted mainly of his original numbers and marked a historic success.

In 1995, US-Japan Goodwill Concert in Honolulu was held by Niibori Guitar Orchestra, which made an emotional success with standing ovations.
In November 1995, Australia-Japan Goodwill Concert started from the Orchard Hall in Japan, where the overflowing audience was excited. In March next year, 160 players and staff members of the Niibori Guitar Orchestra visited Australia. They splendidly played Dr.Niibori’s original music pieces such as "Sai no Kami" (means "The God of Happiness") and the traditional pieces for a guitar orchestra, caused an unprecedented emotion to many experts and Australians and presented many topics. The news is still running around the world. Also a guitar orchestra consisted of 400 members was realized through this friendship concert.
In 1997, the "World Peace Prayer Ceremony" was held in Honolulu conducted by WPPS (NGO in UN) and the Niibori Group was responsible for all the music planning. The Niibori sound was loudly applauded as "music to bring up the mind for peace".
In 1999, the 3rd Niibori Guitar Orchestra Concert in Hawaii was held.
In 2000, the International Niibori Music Academy Guitar Orchestra & Nihon Educational Guitar Association (NKG) Orchestra participated in the Taiwan-Japan International Goodwill Charity Concert (for an earthquake disaster) and made it successful.
In 2002, the Niibori Ensemble was invited to the International Festival of Guitar held at Grifice-Trzebiatow in Poland, and made an unprecedented success in the performance at St. Mary’s Church. In the same year, an orchestra organized only by the students of International Niibori Guitar Music Academy played at two cities in Germany and succeeded receiving standing ovations.
In 2004, the orchestra by the students visited Germany again and made an enormous success, too.
The Niibori Group has been employing excellent musicians other than guitarists, and the Niibori sound is carrying a new step. Hiroki Niibori’s dream creation is now going farther!

Conductor, Hiroki Niibori
Today, he directs the Niibori Guitar Grand Orchestra, the Niibori Guitar Orchestra A-Group, the Niibori Guitar Ensemble (NE), the Ladies' Quartet, the Niibori Guitar Percussion Ensemble (NPE) and so on. NE has performed more than 3,200 concerts (not including free concerts) during 19 years of their musical activity.

As an educator, in 1984, he established the Nihon Guitar Music Conservatory which was the first guitar school approved as an educational foundation in Japan. He became their first president. In 1985, he established an educational foundation called the Niibori Guitar Music Academy which included a preschool course, a high school course, and a university course. He was also the first president of the academy.

In addition to the guitar, students can learn the piano, vocal music, and percussion and guitar orchestra. The Niibori Guitar Music School for people who enjoy the guitar as a hobby has a 49 year history, with branches in 26 countries now.

N-chapel (Hayama)
In 1988, he announced NRM (Niibori Rhythm Method, a method of learning rhythm by using guitar as a percussion instrument). In 1992, he announced a symphonic poem for Wadaiko (Japanese drum) and guitar orchestra 'The God of SAI'. It was highly acclaimed and created considerable attention to this new intellectual approach to the use of the guitar.

In 1990, he received the decoration of the 'International Arts and Culture Prize' by the Japan Culture Promoting Association (President: His Imperial Highness Ariyasu Rokujo). He was the first musician to be so honored. The degree of 'Doctor of Arts' by Continental University, USA was conferred on him later that year. In 1991, he was awarded the 'World Honorable Arts Service Prize' by Rotary International. Additionally, he was appointed as an honorary director of the Chinese Traditional Music Association ('91) In 1993, the Niibori Guitar Orchestra was awarded 'The World Highest Honorable Prize' by the World Peace and Cultural Foundation for its 36 years of musical activity, and Dr. Niibori was inaugurated as their advisor of arts.

In 1994, International Niibori Guitar Orchestra Foundation (USA) was approved to be established and he was inaugurated as a director. Also, he was selected as a 'Fellow of the International Academy of Education (F.I.A.E.)' by the International Academy of Education, London.

He was appointed as a visiting professor of Tang Kang University in Taiwan introducing the Niibori Method to Taiwan. The Niibori Method received the 'International Grandprix' from The World Scientific Council that constituted of 78 principals in 13 countries. In July, the Japan Culture Promoting Association awarded their highest prize 'The highest cultural service prize' to Dr. Niibori for his 40 years of distinguished service to the arts and culture. His Imperial Highness Higashi Kuninomiya visited N-Chapel (Dr. Niibori's research room) and applauded his achievements.

In 1996, Dr. Niibori was authenticated as "Paul Harris Fellow" by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. He also won official commendation from the foundation of specialized training colleges and miscellaneous schools in Niigata prefecture.
In 2002, he was acknowledged as a "Member of Court Art" of Vienna Habsburg Art Friendship Association, recommended by Dr. Eva Stangl-Theimer of Austria (the Honorary Chairman).
Many testimonials for the charity concert and the contribution sponsored by NE are being sent from home and foreign countries, for example, from the UNICEF and the Japanese Red Cross Society. A testimonial was presented from the Kuakini Foundation of Honolulu in 1999, from Taichung city and the Vitalon Welfare Foundation of Taiwan in 2000 where a big earthquake assaulted.
In 2001, he was honored from the International Parliament for Peace Settlement, approved by the International Member Committee on Armament Reduction, NGO based at the United Nations in relation to "the activity for peace ranging half a century through music". This became the big subject of a talk.
In 2004, he received the 4th awarding from the Japanese Red Cross Society.
And he received 'The Distinguished prix for the world peace' in 2004 from The International of Academy of Education (N.Y.) for his honorable contribution truly in his professional field to the world peace. Thus, he received lots of awards regarding world peace. Also, he and his orchestra received lots of letter of appreciation and awards for their volunteer activities from, for example, UNICEF, Japan Red Cross, Kuakini Foundation in Honolulu, Taichung government, pope Dalai Lama XIV in this year and so on. Also in this year, "Gold Prize" was awarded for the contribution to charity and health by President of U.S.A.
In 2007, the Niibori Group has greeted 50th year since the first establishment. The organizations and facilities have been enriched. More than 20 concert places (halls, studios and concert salons) have been opened to have lots of homey concerts & events which anyone can enjoy casually. And also, we, the Niibori Guitar Philharmonic Orchestra held the 50th anniversary concerts in Tokyo, Vienna, Munich and Seoul. Each concerts caused so many people standing ovation!!! After them, many inquiry have been reached from the world one after another.
In 2008, Dr.Niibori and his orchestra received a testimonial from UNICEF for an act of endowment at the benefit concert in Munich and Vienna.
Niibori Guitar Philharmonic Orchestra showed a joint performance with Arnaud Dumond in September in French-Japan Goodwill Concert to commemorate the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

In 2009, Dr.Niibori received a golden medal,"ENEREL" from the Mongolian Red Cross Society on Jan.3 in the recognition of his contribution to the humanitarian activities for the vulnerable people of Mongolia. And he was decorated Global Cultural Prize on Jan.20, historical hereditary decoration from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Dr.Niibori was awarded Albert Schweitzer "Art Prize" from Austrian Albert Schweitzer Association in March, and 25th Anniversary Jubilee Medal was given for this time with the special message of Mr.Joerg Steiner, Secretary General of the head office of the association.

Dr.Niibori and Niibori Group are incessantly progressing to realize their dream, peaceful utopia, 'create a world-wide family'.Niibori Guitar Orchestra and the Niibori Method he originated, are promoting World Peace through their advanced intellectual use of music.