Rik began playing guitar at age 12 and in his teens began the process of listening and learning the fundamentals of jazz. In 1970, while exploring, studying, and practicing this diverse, complex, and improvisational realm of music, he was introduced to and befriended one of his favorite musicians, pop-jazz guitar giant, George Benson. Soon after, he met the late jazz guitar virtuoso/ composer, Pat Martino. “1971 was a turning point in many ways as Pat had become my mentor, ‘big brother’, and dear friend.” Up until his passing, Rik had maintained a very close relationship with Pat, with whom, over the years, he also studied privately and interacted with on a personal basis.
After two semesters in undergrad studying fine art, design, and painting, Rik’s ongoing passion for jazz guitar ultimately motivated him to audition for enrollment at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where he earned an Arranging & Composition Degree. Upon leaving Berklee, his time was spent teaching privately, composing, and performing in local venues.
In 1998, he launched a business dealing high-end, hand-crafted classical guitars internationally, built by the most reputed luthiers from around the world. This was a period when he listened to classical music on a daily basis, studied the classical guitar and its history, whilst concurrently working to improve his finger-style technique.
Rik has completed over 50 original compositions, and today continues to teach, study, play, and compose on a consistent basis. He has also written many lyrics, one of which may be heard on his beautiful, multilingual, classical-crossover song, "Meladonia”.
In 2020, he began studying Middle Eastern music and playing the oud. He has also exhibited and completed over 120 pieces of original fine artwork and sculptures.