French guitarist and composer Damien Aribert describes his piece Nin-Nin as a bossa nova, and one listen (or playing) will tell you that it is definitely steeped in that Brazilian style.
Aribert (b. 1981) has been studying and playing classical guitar since he was seven years old. His early teachers included Evelyne Lacheret, then Brigitte Repiton, and at the age of 19 he entered the National School of Music and Dance (ENMD) in Romans sur Isère in southern France, studying with Gilles Gogniat. He also studied with the award-winning Emmanuel Rossfelder, whom Aribert calls “one of the best French guitar players.” In 2008, the year the video recording of this piece was shot, Aribert obtained a degree in guitar pedagogy from the Centre de Formation des Esseignants de la Musique in Aubagne, near Marseille. Through this period, too, he performed at many different venues around France, including numerous festivals, and over time also further developed his skills as a composer—and not just for guitar (he composed a suite for four cellos, for instance)—in styles ranging from swing to Latin.
His eclectic debut solo guitar recording, Destinations—featuring a mix of original pieces and works by such composers as Isaac Albéniz, Nikita Koshkin, Badi Assad, and Maria Linnemann—came out in late 2014 and was reviewed in the Fall 2015 issue of Classical Guitar.
Aribert lives in the Normandy region of northern France and teaches at a music school in Avranches, near historic Mont Saint Michel. His guitars are by French luthier Vauclusien Renaud Galabert. —Blair Jackson