For preliminary lists on some of our collections, please contact Santie de Jongh (firstname.lastname@example.org).
See further below for finding aids.
Works by African scholars and composers.
Africana and Rare Books
This category consists of rare and unique items (e.g. monographs, sheet music and dissertations) with Africana value and of general interest, and is mainly supplemented with donations. Currently this collection consists of sorted and unsorted items of notable South African musicians.
Extent: ca. 15 m.
Access to items can be gained via the Stellenbosch University library catalogue.
The composer Olaf Andresen (1902-1985) published and disseminated his works by means of his own publishing firm (Melotone Waves Music Publishers). Born in Berlin, he settled in South Africa in 1931. In 1939 he was engaged to Marthel Dittrich, an Afrikaans lady of Austrian origin. During the outbreak of the Second World War he was interned at the Leeukop prison. Eight months later he escaped and fled in South Africa for eleven months. During this time he composed marches for the Ossewa Brandwag under the pseudonym Andries Cilliers. After a period of time outside the South African border, he returned to South Africa where he was imprisoned for three years. Only with the power of the National Party in 1948 he returned to South Africa. The Andresen collection consists of artefacts, correspondence, music manuscripts, newspaper cuttings and printed music. Extent: 13 pamphlet boxes.
Source: Malan, J.P. 1979-. South African music encyclopedia. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
The violinist, Ivy Angove (1886-1978) received lessons from Wilhelmj and Sevcik. She was also the youngest person to obtain the licentiate at the Royal Academy in London. Besides extensive concert tours in England and Europe, she also frequently performed in camps and hospitals during the First World War. After her marriage to Kenneth Holme Barnett in 1919, they settled in South Africa in Stellenbosch. Angove was also engaged in positions at the SA College of Music (University of Cape Town) and the Conservatoire, Stellenbosch University. Her collection consists of artefacts, correspondence, diaries, monographs, newspaper cuttings and photographs. Extent: 2 m.
This collection consists of individual items by various donors and includes musical stands, music stationary, musical instruments and wooden statuettes of a Gamelan orchestra. Extent: ca. 15 items.
The South African author and poet Hennie Aucamp (1934-) studied at the universities of Stellenbosch, Leuven (Belgium) and Columbia (New York) and also gained prominence as academic. His collection consists of articles, monographs, newspaper cuttings, notes, photographs, printed music, programmes and sound recordings. Extent: 15 items.
The John Bailey collection consists of catalogues, correspondence, music manuscripts (copies), notes, programmes and sound recordings of personalities such as Blanche Gerstman, Albina Bini, Walter Swanson and Raie da Costa. Extent: ca. 20 items.
On 22 September 2008, Prof. Richard Behrens donated copies of his organ music to DOMUS. During this occasion, a selection of the his works were also performed. Digitised versions of Richard Behrens' works can be accessed via UPSpace.
Composer, pianist and teacher Michael Blake (1951, Cape Town) took piano lessons from the age of nine at the South African College of Music, Cape Town. Tertiary education followed at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (BMus, 1970), University of London Goldsmiths College (MMus, 1977 – also part-time lecturer) and Rhodes University, Grahamstown (Doctoral studies, 2000 – taught composition from 1998 when he returned to South Africa). He also attended summer courses in Darmstadt and Dartington with Mauricio Kagel, György Ligeti and Peter Maxwell Davies (1976).
Blake launched the first New Music concert series in Johannesburg (1977) and was also engaged in establishing the contemporary music festival, the New Music Indaba (Grahamstown), of which he was director (2000-2006). At the same event, he established the Growing Composers project, which stemmed from the realisation of the lack of opportunities for young black composers. Connected to the New Music Indaba, is the Bow Project (2002-2005), which involved commissions (with concert performances of these works) as responses to traditional African bow music. Furthermore, he was instrumental in South Africa’s re-inclusion in the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), again, serving as president for the South African branch (NewMusicSA) for six years.
Blake has collaborated with a number of well-known ensembles and soloists, and has also given performances of his own works and works by South African, British and American experimental composers. His composition output includes works for stage, and orchestral, chamber, keyboard, instrumental, vocal and choral works which have been recorded and performed widely across the globe. A complete biography with a list of works of Michael Blake is available here. The Blake collection consists of correspondence, photographs, printed music, posters, programmes and sound recordings. Extent: 162 pamphlet boxes, ca. 15 oversized items and ca. 120 sound recordings.
Source: Blake, Michael. [n.d.]. Michael Blake: Biography. [Online].
Jan Bouws (1902-1978) was born in the Netherlands and came to South Africa in 1960 by invitation of Stellenbosch University for the position as Director of the Insitute of Folk Music. He also lectured Music history and Paleography at Stellenbosch University. He was an ardent collector on matters relating to South African music history and published widely on this topic. His collection consists of correspondence, monographs, music manuscripts, notes, photographs, printed music and sound recordings. Extent: 6 pamphlet boxes; ca. 3 m monographs; ca. 1 m sound recordings.
Born in Koffiefontein in the Orange Free State, Lionel Bowman (1919-2006) showed an aptitude for music from a young age. He already started with public performances at the age of nine. He received music tuition at the South African College of Music in Cape Town from 1928 to 1937, and in the latter year was awarded a scholarship from the University of South Africa (UNISA), which enabled him to pursue his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Vivian Langridge. Bowman won a number of important piano competitions and prizes which include the Roller Memorial Prize, Matthew Phillimore Prize and the Chappell Gold Medal (highest award for pianists at the Academy), and in 1952 received the Royal Academy’s highest distinction: Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music (FRAM).
During the Second World War (1940-1944) Bowman was a piano lecturer at the South African College of Music and undertook a number of concert tours in South Africa. He became known for his performances of the piano concerti of Beethoven and was the first South African pianist to perform all five of these works as a cycle. He also gave the South African première of Prokofiev’s third piano concerto and Da Falla’s Nights in the gardens of Spain and is furthermore known for introducing the works of South African composers to foreign audiences. After a period of offering private tuition, he returned to London in 1946, where he was active as concert pianist for the following twelve years. He performed for the BBC in the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall and undertook concert tours to France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Turkey, Israel, Australia, the USA and a number of African countries.
In 1958 he took up lectureship at the University of Stellenbosch, a post he held for 26 years. During this time he pursued his performance career nationally and internationally and in 1976 he was promoted as Associate Professor.
On his 80th birthday in 1999, he established the Lionel Bowman Beethoven Prize at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town with the aim of assisting students financially in furthering their performance careers. The first annual Lionel Bowman Beethoven Competition was held in 2000 at both these institutions.
In response to chronic back problems Bowman developed a special piano technique with which he became associated. As a result of this he was invited to Australia as a visiting professor. A book on his method, The Magic Touch, was published in 2000 under the authorship of Wallace Tate. The Bowman collection consists of correspondence, photographs, sheet music and sound recordings. Extent: 27 pamphlet boxes, ca. 120 sound recordings.
Bowman, L. 1976. Curriculum Vitae. Konservatorium collection, DOMUS.
Bowman, L. 1978. Biographical notes taken from Konservatorium collection, DOMUS.
Fuchs, A. 2006. Suid-Afrika betreur afsterwe van uitnemende pianis en dosent. [Online].
Cloete Breytenbach (1933-2019) was involved in the photography industry for five decades, after joining the Cape newspaper Die Burger in 1951. After an intensive (and hard) apprenticeship as news photographer - Die Burger, Cape Times, Sunday Times - he went overseas to work at the Daily Express. He also worked on contract for the Paris Match.
Back in South Africa, after four years, he worked on contracts for the international media including Time/Life D.P.A., Associated Press and Daily Telegraph. More important events documented in these sources include: The first heart transplant 1967 (exclusively for Life Magazine), the Yom Kippur war, Israel 1973, Vietnam 1975, various conflicts in Africa (Angola, Moçambique and Rhodesia for five years) and the Reagan presidential election in 1980. He further took part in numerous international photographic exhibitions; the Albert Luthuli photo collection was accepted by the Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Twelve books have been published, including: Savimbi’s Angola, Namibia – Birth of a Nation, The Zulu Factor, The Spirit of District Six (sixth edition) and tourism and winery publications. The EOAN photographs were taken over a period of five years, mainly for the Sarie magazine. The District Six Collection can currently be viewed at Gallery F, Loop Street, Cape Town. The Breytenbach collection consists of photographic negatives and photographs (copies made from the negatives). Extent: ca. 180 items.
Source: Text by Cloete Breytenbach.
Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO)
The first performance for the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra took place in 1914, under the direction of Theophil Wendt (conductor) and Ellie Marx (concert master). It was expected that the orchestra should perform twice per week (Thursday and Sunday evenings) in the City Hall and at beach resorts in the Cape peninsula. Later conductors include Leslie Heward, William Pickerill, Enrique Jordá, Geoffrey Miller, Frits Schuurman, Pierre Colombo, Edward Dunn and David Tidboald. Guest conductors include Albert Coates, Sir Henry Wood, Sir Dan Godfrey, Basil Cameron, Sir Richard Heinze, Hugh Rignold, Anthony Collins, Charles Groves, Leo Quayle, Charles Mackerras, Franz Litschauer, Jeremy Schulman and Minas Christian. The collection consists of newspaper cuttings, notes, photographs, programmes and scrapbooks. Extent: ca. 55 pamphlet boxes; 1 steel cabinet. Further information on the CPO here.
Parallel with his career as scientist, Gabriel Gideon Cillié (1910-2000) was involved in music. He particularly worked in the field of church music with his contribution as translator, arranger, choral conductor and composer. He also collaborated with the revision and expansion of various Afrikaans liturgical music sources.
At the University of Stellenbosch, Cillié received his training in natural sciences and from there he continued studying at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship (Astro-physics). With the aid of the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship, he completed his education at Harvard University (1933-1935).
After three and a half years of teaching at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria, he was appointed as a Mathematics professor at the University of Stellenbosch in July 1939. On account of his interest in music coinciding with his career in science, he became a prominent South African example of the mathematical-musical union in one person. Organ tuition with Professor Jannasch ignited his love for the musica sacra. He was a member of the Oxford Bach Choir and was an organ pupil of Allchin at the Royal College of Music in London. At Harvard he actively participated in the Harvard Glee Club.
His activities in the field of church music included written articles, collaboration in revising the Nuwe Halleluja (1951), contributing to the compilation of the harmonized version of the Hymnbook (1956) and assisting in the revision of the Afrikaans Psalm melodies. He also collected popular church melodies which he tried to re-establish for use by the congregation.
Cillié assumed the leadership of the Stellenbosch University Choir (1941) and the newly-established Choir of the Theological Seminary (1946). In 1946 the Students’ Song Festival occurred. This event took place annually.
As conductor and musical consultant, Gabriel Gideon Cillié became well-known after his tour with the Seminary Choir (from 1946) and the University Choir (from 1952). After becoming a member of the Federasie vir Afrikaanse Kultuurvereninginge (FAK) music commission, he was involved in revising the Nuwe FAK Sangbundel (1961). In 1965 he received a medal of honour from the South African Academy for Arts and Science. The Cillié collection consists of correspondence, newspaper cuttings, periodicals, photographs, programmes and sheet music. Extent: 3 pamphlet boxes.
Source: Adapted from Malan, J.P. South African music encyclopedia -1979, by Kaylene Hendricks.
Albert Coates was born in St. Petersburg in 1882 into a family of English merchants. He attended primary school in London and high school and university in Liverpool, where he studied sciences. Instead of joining his father’s business, he enrolled at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1902 where he studied conducting with Nikisch. He was a répétiteur for Nikisch and an assistant to Ernst von Schuch in Dresden. From 1910 to 1917 he conducted at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. He left Russia in 1919, after which he regularly worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, also conducting the world premières of the complete Planets Suite by Holst and the revised version of Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony. In 1920, Coates made his debut with the New York Symphony Orchestra; from 1923 to 1925 he was Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 1926 also conducted for the Philharmonic and Symphonic Societies in New York. Occasionally he returned to conduct in Europe, where he worked for a season at the Berlin State Opera (1931), gave concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic (1935), and was engaged as a guest at Covent Garden (1938).
Coates was married twice. His first wife, Madelon Holland, wrote the libretto of his first opera, Asshurbanipal; his second wife was the South African singer Vera de Villiers. They married in 1945, and emigrated to South Africa the following year. Initially he worked with the Johannesburg Municipal Orchestra, followed by various opera and orchestral engagements in Cape Town. His last opera, Van Hunks & the Devil, based on a South African topic, was performed for the Van Riebeeck Festival in 1952. Coates died in Cape Town on 11 December 1953.
Coates wrote nine operas, of which DOMUS holds all the autograph scores and libretti. These operas include Asshurbanipal (1915); The Myth Beautiful (1917); Samuel Pepys (1929); Pickwick (1936; the first opera to be televised); Gainsborough (1939); The Boy David (1948); The Duel (1950); Thro’ the magic eye (1952) and Tafelberg se Kleed ['The Tablecloth'] (1952).
The Coates collection consists of address books, artefacts, articles, autograph books, brochures, certificates, correspondence, furniture, libretti, monographs, music manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, notes, objets d’art (busts, paintings), periodicals, photographic negatives, photographs, posters, printed music, programmes and sound recordings (gramophone records). Extent: ca. 1700 items.
This section contains letters by various donors. Included in this collection are letters by John Joubert and Lionel Bowman, and letters to Carl Engel (former editor of Schirmer) from Alma Maria Mahler Werfel and others. Extent: ca. 20 items.
De Villiers, Dirkie
Dirkie de Villiers (1921-1993), son of M.L. de Villiers, was active primarily in music education. He was also involved with the Koraalboek and the revision of the hymnbook of the N.G. Church. Besides further activities as editor of the Nuwe FAK-sangbundel and as member of the Advising Committee of Music Examinations at the University of South Africa, he was also involved as choir conductor and accompanist. His collection consists of correspondence, music manuscripts (includes copies), newspaper cuttings, periodicals, printed music (copies) and programmes. Extent: 1 pamphlet box.
De Villiers, Pieter
Composer Pieter Johannes de Villiers (1924) was born in Klerksdorp in the North West Province, South Africa. After matriculating at Standerton High School, he obtained a degree in Classical languages at the University of Pretoria and a BMus at Stellenbosch University. He obtained a lecture position at Stellenbosch University from 1948 to 1953. This was followed by a lectureship at the University of Potchefstroom (1954-1961), interrupted by a lectureship at the University of Pretoria before he returned to the University of Potchefstroom again from 1968 to June 1984. Besides composition, he was active as pianist, choirmaster, accompanist, organist and harpsichordist.
The Pieter de Villiers collection consists of agendas, artefacts, articles, awards, brochures, calendars, catalogues, certificates, contracts, correspondence, examination papers, facsimiles, films (VHS), financial documents, lectures, manuscript books, manuscript copies, maps, miscellaneous, monographs, music manuscripts, newsletters, newspaper cuttings, newspaper cuttings (copies), notes (includes copies), objets d’art, periodicals, photographs, posters, printed music, printed music (copies), programmes, sketches, sound recordings (reel tapes, sound cassettes), speeches and transparencies. Extent: 47 pamphlet boxes.
Source: Biographical notes from Pieter de Villiers collection.
Du Plessis, Hubert
South African composer Hubert du Plessis was born in the Malmesbury district on 7 June 1922. Du Plessis obtained a B.A. with Music and English from Stellenbosch University (1943) and a B.Mus degree , Rhodes University, Grahamstown (1946). He lectured at Rhodes University, Grahamstown (1946), University of Cape Town (1955-1956) and Stellenbosch University (1958-1981). In 1951 he received a study bursary from the Performing Right Society where he studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London. In 1954 he returned to South Africa. Further awards included an Honorary medal for music from the South African Academy for Science and Art (1963), an Honorary Doctorate from Stellenbosch University (1989) and the Order for Meritorious Service (Gold) by former State President F.W. de Klerk (1992). The Du Plessis collection consists of articles, correspondence, notes, music manuscripts and sound recordings (audio cassettes).
Malan, J. (ed.). 1980. Du Plessis, in: South African Music Encyclopedia, vol. 1. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
May, J. 2011. Obituary – Hubert du Plessis. Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa, 8(1):115-116, DOI: 10.2989/18121004.2011.652401
Thom Wium, M. 2011. Hubert du Plessis (1922–2011): An appreciation. Musicus, 39(2):5-9.
University of Pretoria. [n.d.]. Du Plessis, Hubert, in: SA Composers [Online]. Available at: https://www.up.ac.za/sacomposers/article/2755724/du-plessis-hubert.
From a collaboration with KEMUS and Dr Jonathan Eato of York University and sponsored by DOMUS, recordings of South African jazz legend Tete Mbambisa were donated to DOMUS in 2010. Further recordings donated by Eato include interviews with Tete Mbambisa, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Zim Ngqawana and Robbie Jansen. Extent. 6 items.
Endler, Johann Franz (Hans)
The Austrian, Hans Endler (1871-1947), immigrated to South Africa in 1903. He also played an integral part in founding the Conservatoire at Stellenbosch University in 1905. Since 1921 he took over from Friedrich Wilhelm Jannasch as Director of the Conservatoire. In addition to his practical music activities, he composed a number of works for different instruments. His collection consists of music manuscripts and printed music. Extent: 6 pamphlet boxes.
The Eoan Group was founded by Helen Southern-Holt in District Six in 1933. It functioned as a cultural and welfare organisation. The name Eoan derives from the Greek word ‘Eos’ which means ‘dawn’, referring to the enlightenment it strove to bring to individuals. They offered a wide range of activities that included ballet, folk dance, speech, drama, singing, painting and sewing. From 1956 until the late 1970s Eoan featured an active amateur opera section responsible for numerous arts festivals, annual opera seasons and tours throughout South Africa (1960 and 1965) and the United Kingdom (1975). At the invitation of Helen Southern-Holt, Joseph Salvatore Manca joined the Music Section as choral conductor in 1943. He developed the small choir into an amateur opera company who presented their first full-scale opera in 1956. The Eoan Group achieved great heights despite working under the constraints of Apartheid. Intensifying Apartheid legislation since the 1960s affected the Group’s morale, although they continued to perform whenever they could before mixed audiences. Forced to accept financial support from the Coloured Affairs Department, their standing and support in the community suffered. Eventually Apartheid legislation saw the total prohibition of mixed audiences. Complying with these requirements, the Eoan Group applied for permits to perform in the City Hall for mixed audiences from 1966 and onwards. Despite these conditions, the successes of the Group were widely reflected in ticket sales and in the press. After the destruction of District Six, the Eoan Group moved to their new premises in Athlone, now known as the Joseph Stone Theatre. After Manca’s resignation in 1977, the demise of the Eoan Opera Group was evident. The collection consists of agendas, annual reports, brochures, bulletins, certificates, constitutions, correspondence, diaries, financial documents, libretti, memoranda, minutes, monographs; newsletters, newspaper cuttings, notes, objets d’art, periodicals, photographs, posters, programmes, printed music, reports, scrapbooks, scripts, seating plans, sound recordings, textiles and tickets. Extent: 109 pamphlet boxes.
Fay Singer South African Jewish Music Centre collection
In 2011 the collection of the South African Jewish Music Centre was donated to DOMUS by Mrs. Fay Singer, hence the Fay Singer South African Jewish Music Centre Collection. The aim of this centre is to preserve the heritage of Jewish music in its South African context. The Centre has been active in promoting the study and performance of Jewish music. Under its banner, Fay Singer started collating material that grew to become the South African Jewish Music Archive. The material in this archive includes, amongst others things, gramophone recordings of South African and international Jewish music, and music and scores donated to the Centre by local synagogues, cantors and other individuals. Due to negotiations between former Stellenbosch University music student Annemie Stimie and Fay Singer, the archive of the South African Jewish Music Centre was transferred to DOMUS.
On 12 March 2012 Fay Singer was invited to present a colloquium on the South African Jewish Music Centre and Klezmer music. During this occasion Fay Singer gave an account of the origin and history of the South African Jewish Music Centre, followed by an introduction to Klezmer music. In the latter instance Matthew Reid from the group Playing with Fire, accompanied the presentation with clarinet performances of Klezmer music.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN JEWISH MUSIC CENTRE
Lecture held on 12th March 2012 at University of Stellenbosch Music Department
First of all I need to say, that I would not be standing here today had it not been for Annemie Stimie. She learnt about the South African Jewish Music Centre after she had read my article about the Yiddish song Dort vo die Zeder in Jewish Affairs and contacted me. It took some correspondence until we met. I never looked back. I have also had the privilege to meet Santie de Jongh. It was at a time when I had felt at a loss about what would happen to the material of the South African Music Centre. During our interaction I was always intensely moved by the incredibly courteous and sensitive manner in which I have been approached. I must also express my deepest gratitude towards Prof Stephanus Muller for the kind and courteous manner in which he approached me with regard to the collection. I am reassured that the collection which has been so close to my heart has found a wonderful home under the loving and professional wings of DOMUS at the Music Department, Stellenbosch University.
The South African Jewish Music Centre
I am a Master graduate of the University of Cape Town, having studied the piano with Harold Rubens and later Laura Searle. I have played the piano from the age of 4 and this went right through my school years in Johannesburg, where I grew up. I was always called upon to play for all the different school functions and assemblies. Then I went to study music at UCT, College of Music. During my studies I acted as repétiteur for opera students, and I sang in the UCT choir. When I married my beloved husband and brought up our four children, I let go of my musical career for 25 years.
When my children had all grown up I felt free to follow my musical vocation I auditioned at the College of music, for Lamar Crowson and Neil Solomon, graduating there with BMus Hons. I was invited to present lectures at UCT Summer School, and held an annual musical seminar over sessions of 5 days. These lectures and seminars were highly successful. Later I joined Barry Smith’s Choir and took over special rehearsals when needed and also played the piano for rehearsals.
I was always interested in the music of my roots, our Jewish musical heritage. There is a close affinity between the Hebrew Bible and music and the liturgy and prayers during services. I decided to make Jewish music in Cape Town accessible again to ensure the continuity of our Jewish culture for future generations.
Jewish people everywhere have distinctive musical profiles. In South Africa, the majority of Jews are descendants of immigrants of Eastern Europe (i.e. they are Ashkenazi Jews) whose music has been influenced by a specific religious and cultural history. This history is tied by heritage to the Yiddish language – for which I have a passion.
The Ashkenazi musical tradition has a rich heritage of liturgical synagogue music. Its cantorial art follows ancient practices and so does the Reading of the Holy Scrolls (the cantillations of the Torah). In Orthodox practice, the ritual trop and nusach, the cadences and melodies of cantillation are still taught to every Jewish boy for his bar Mitzvah, while in Reform practice the girls also learn these melodies.
In my research into Jewish music in Cape Town I have found a confluence of many other musical cultures.
By establishing The South African Jewish Music Centre my aim was to promote the study and performance of Jewish music of all kinds: Synagogue music, Yiddish songs, Sephardi melodies (representing the Spanish tradition), Ashkenasic (the Eastern European tradition), Chassidic as well as contemporary Hebrew music.
The South African Jewish Music Centre was inaugurated on 17 December 1992 in Cape Town. A year later it was affiliated to the Jewish Music Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London. Our Honorary Patron from the start was Mrs Geraldine Auerbach MBE, Director of the Jewish Music Institute, London.
The S.A.J.M.C. whose work I saw as an on-going process had a lively momentum from the start. It soon became known within the Jewish community and I began receiving many requests to supply special music (recordings, tapes, CD’s or sheet music) for private functions, birthday celebrations, for broadcasting on Fine Music Radio, or for bar Mitzvah and weddings.
I gave lectures on music and organized performances in collaboration with institutions in many different venues and suburbs of Cape Town, such as the following:
In July 1996 I started a Newsletter beautifully arranged and printed by my daughter Mara containing news. It dealt with books about music, research, sheet music. This first copy also contained a request for books, records, sheet music to be sent to the S.A.J.M.C. in order to preserve our cultural heritage. This request has received an amazing reaction on the part of the public.
The next Newsletter, once more produced by my daughter Mara Singer, wrote about the visit of the famous musician and Director of Jewish Music Raymond Goldstein at the Claremont Shul and once again of Andor Izsák from Hannover. Unfortunately, we only had three editions and then the newsletter folded.
The South African Jewish Music Centre Collection
From the year 1996 we began to receive large donations of long-playing records. They were stored in a private garage.
The Jacob Gitlin Library took the Jewish Music Centre under its wing, but space, sorting and cataloguing of the vast material became a task too big to handle for the library and it could only act as an intermediary. In 1999 we had to vacate the garage which stored our material and was frantically looking for space. This was given to me somewhat clandestinely by a prominent member of the Reform congregation in Green Point, where the boxes were placed in a store-room under the floor. But then the synagogue had to be rebuilt and I had to move out with my boxes, find a transport – and where from here?
Luckily, due to the intercession of the late Rabbi Dr Jack Steinhorn we found a fine storage place in the Highlands House Jewish Old Age home’s Choir loft of the synagogue which is never used. Volunteers, some of them residents, started to classify and catalogue manually the numerous records and books which were housed in cases and in specially made book cases which the SAJMC had made for this purpose. But here, unfortunately it remained, inaccessible to the public. Some of the items were in physical danger, because of the threat of insect infestation and no humidity control. There were plans for a temporary studio and Multimedia resource, the formation of a database of all items of sheet music and records, Live performances to increase public appreciation and knowledge of Jewish music and its cultural heritage as well as restoration, conservation, proper storage and secure display. Nothing of this materialized and I worried about this for the last several years.
Meanwhile a new momentum developed in Cape Town in the area of Klezmer.
The Yiddish word Klezmer is based on two Hebrew words: klei and zemer which means vessel and song. It refers to the professional Jewish folk musicians of Eastern European origin. Klezmer is primarily a modal music. The scales are known as gustn. It is similar to the synagogue mode ahavoh raboh. Klezmer instruments include violin and clarinet along with bass, cello, flute and brass, sometimes accompanied by vocalists.
Klezmer music reaches back as far as 16th century Europe. It is the traditional instrumental wedding and celebratory music of the Yiddish-speaking Jews of Eastern Europe. It flourished in what we know today as Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldavia, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.
The melodies are relics from Eastern European Jewish life. These bands with their portable instruments went all over the countries to play for weddings and other festivals. On the way they picked up musical sounds wherever they went – so Klezmer is a mixture of many kinds of melodies – even Arabic. What is so special about this Jewish folk music is the sudden change of mood within a musical piece. From happy to sad, from funny to wistful – but basically Klezmer is celebration of life and the energy which Jewish people put into life.
So their repertoire was eclectic, garnered from various parts of Eastern Europe to which they added a distinct ‘hot style’. This has led some music specialists to use the term ‘Jewish Jazz’.
Through Klezmer, a culture and the memory of a people who have disappeared forever are revived.
And here in Cape Town, this is where my friend and collaborator over the years, Matthew Reid who is here with me today, stepped in.
Matthew Reid, who has studied music in England and in France, especially the Clarinet, was drawn to Klezmer in the 1980s, when he shared his lodgings with a music student who owned had a Giora Feidman record. Feidman is an Argentinian Jew who plays clarinet in a Klezmer style playing clarinet solos for the score to the film Schindler’s list, which won an Academy Award. Matthew loved this music and wrote down some of the tunes, trying to play them. He was captivated “by the way he gets such fascinating colours out of the clarinet – and all the different effects”. Years later, back in Cape Town, he was asked to play at a bar Mitzvah in a quartet and he rearranged some of the numbers into Klezmer, after which he and his band was invited repeatedly for Jewish festivals.
I heard about him and I needed him for my presentations. I asked the band to play at a summer school lecture I was giving. Subsequently a Klezmer ensemble under Matthew’s direction was formed and I was privileged to guide and impart to the band the Jewish “twang” (in Yiddish we say: Kvetch) of this Eastern European folk music. Matthew’s repertoire grew and the string quartet became the Simcha Klezmer Band (Simcha means joyful celebration). Then the Jewish Board of Deputies invited the band to play at their AGM and thus Matthew Reid and his Simcha Klezmer Band became part of the Cape Town Jewish community structures.
In 2006 the Simcha Klezmer Band changed its name to Playing with Fire.
The Leah Todres Annual Yiddish Song Festival
When the first of many Yiddish Song Festivals, organized by Philip Todres in honour of his late mother, was established in 2000, Matthew Reid and his Simcha Klezmer Band were already established. It became an annual event until 2009 and I was privileged to select the music for the singers who performed on the stage, according to the prevalent theme which ranged from nostalgic songs of the shtetls of eastern Europe to Cabaret pieces. Matthew Reid was the music Director.
You will perhaps remember that in 2009 he performed for the KKNK. Matthew’s wife Kathleen went to Oudtshoorn before the event to be inspired by the local scene, looking for authentic karretjies. She then designed a T-shirt for the occasion. The performance was very well received. Here are the remarks in Die Krit:
Jy kan nie anders as om ekstatiese byvoeglike naamwoorde te gryp nie: energiek, meesterlik, meesleurend, toeganklik. Hierdie is definitief een van die juwele van die KKNK.
2011 Was a watershed for the South African Jewish Music Centre. Due to the hard work and commitment the greater part of the collection housed in the Choir Loft at Highlands House was transferred here to DOMUS by Prof Stephanus Muller, Santie and Annemie, and Kerry Pierce, where I know it is in good hands and is attended to with outstanding professionalism and will be accessible, as I always wanted to be.
Concerning the Music itself, it was crowned with the celebratory launch of the CD entitled Cape Town Shpiel: Playing with Fire, Klezmer in Africa, which took place at the Centre for the Book in Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town in December 2011. It was the sum total of the work of the S.A.J.M.C and Matthew Reid. With the performances of the Klezmer music I have found a home.
I hereby want to present this CD to Prof Stephanus Muller as an expression of gratitude for all he has done for me and with that for the Cape Town Jewish Music Centre by giving us a home under the wings of DOMUS.
1. All these performances are noted down in more detail in the attendance registry book, which is presently in the collection at DOMUS.
2. Robyn Cohen. 2006. Yiddish Song Festival: Non-Jew who lets his hair down at Klezmer. Cape Times, Wednesday August 9.
3. Die Krit, 5 April 2006.
As student, Anton Goosen travelled by train from Heidelberg, where he studied, to East London for a 15 minute set for a local variety concert. Initially, he played English covers; little was it known what impact Goosen would have on the South African, and more specifically, the Afrikaans music industry. In standard nine, a school psychologist assured Goosen of a bleak musical future. By then he had already started playing music, strongly influenced by songs such as Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, The Rolling Stones' I can't get no (satisfaction) and She loves you by the Beatles.
After his school career, he qualified as a teacher. During his employment years at St. Stithians, he played in bars in the evening. He also expanded his skills as referee for the South Transvaal soccer team. During his term at St. Stithians, he wrote a musical, Jantjie, which was performed by the students. After resigning from teaching in 1976, he was employed part-time as critic at the newly-established Beeld newspaper. During this time, he taugt the guitar and presented pottery classes. His first interview as critic for Die Beeld, introduced him to singer Sonja Herholdt, who entered the beginning of fame with Ek verlang na jou. He wrote songs for Sonja Herholdt, Carike Keuzenkamp (Hoeka toeka) and Laurika Rauch (Straattroebadoere, Vergeet om te vergeet, Neanderthalman and Atlantis). Richard Clayderman and Francis Goya both recorded his song, Waterblommetjies.
In 1979 he wrote the theme song for the film, Pretoria O Pretoria. This theme song, the original version of Kruidjie-roer-my-nie, was banned four days after release. This initiated a history of restictions for Goosen by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). He rewrote the lyrics of Kruidjie and the single of this new version showed 40 000 on the sales record. This was the first commercially released recording for Anton Goosen. In the same year, he released his first album - this was the first Afrikaans album by a singer who wrote his own songs in Afrikaans. Boy van die suburbs showed 80 000 on the sales record. A song on this album, Blommetjie-gedenk-aan-my is regarded as the first rock song in Afrikaans. This earned Goosen the tile of 'Father of Afrikaans rock'. The underlying protest against the status quo, was also part of Goosen's contribution to the genre. The songs, Antjie Somers and Hanoverstraat, are amongst the first songs in Afrikaans that protested against forced removals. Mpanzaville, recorded by Laurika Rauch, refers to the Soweto protests.
Anton Goosen is also known for his contribution to the music and lyric movement (as pioneer), as producer for various albums (Wildebeest - first Afrikaans rock album, Elke boemelaar se droom for Koos Kombuis, and Om te Breyten) and as producer and presenter for the music series, Liedjieboer-rumoer, for Radio Sonder Grense (RSG).
He also received various music awards for his important contribution fo South African and Afrikaans music.
With his Anton Goosen's apetite for renewal and musical experimentation, he performs across the country - acoustical, solo and/or with his Bushrockband.
(Source: Adapted and translated from information provided by Anton Goosen, e-mail correspondence, 30 October 2012.)
Stefans Grové (1922-2014) is the most celebrated of the first generation of South African composers. He has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of the Free State and Pretoria and in 2008 he was given honorary membership of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. Grové was the first South African recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship and taught at the world-renowned Peabody Conservatoire for fourteen years. He lived in Pretoria from 1973, where he taught as professor in composition at the University of Pretoria until his retirement in 1987. Afterwards he remained composer in residence at this university. The collection of this composer consists of articles, correspondence, music manuscripts, notes and printed music. Extent: ca. 95 items.
The conductor Anton Hartman (1918-1982) completed his studies at the University of the Witwatersrand (BMus, 1939 and MMus, 1946). Hartman also took an interest in Afrikaans folk music, light music and art music. In 1947 he studied conducting with Albert Coates, followed by further studies in Vienna and Salzburg (conducting, composition, violin and piano – 1950-1951). For thirty eight years he was involved with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), where he was the head of music for somewhat fifteen years. During the last five years of his life he occupied the post of head of the music department at the Witwatersrand University. He also had a share in the South African visits of composers from the international arena. In this respect, composers include Henk Badings, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Igor Stravinsky. Of the latter a Canon on notes ‘SABC’ exists in the Hartman collection. The Hartman collection consists of brochures, correspondence, notes, photographs, programmes and sheet music (includes works of Hartman, amongst others). Extent: 1 pamphlet box.
Hartman, M. 2003. Anton Hartman en Jossie Boshoff 85. Musicus, 31(2):144-145.
Malan, J.P. 1982. South African music encyclopedia. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
Hennie Joubert Piano Competition
In 1983 South African piano manufacturer Dietman proposed a sponsorship to the Wellington Music Society to promote the performing arts. This was the beginning of a new piano competition. In the same year, Hennelie Prinsloo (chair of the Wellington Music Society) contacted André Serfontein and Bennie van Eeden to serve with her as founding members of Dietman Piano Competition, with Joan de Villiers as secretary. The first competition took place in 1984 with Virginia Fortescue, Bennie van Eeden and Cecilia Laurens as judges. With the untimely passing of Hennie Joubert (also a judge) and the closure of the Dietman factory in 1986, the Competition was renamed in memory of Hennie Joubert. The Competition also gained international recognition from Chopin Institute, Tokyo, due to high standard of requirements and repertoire presented. In 2004 the Competition came to a temporary halt. Initiated by organiser André Serfontein in 2011, the Competition resumed as part of the Stellenbosch University Music Department’s Biennial Piano Symposium. In 2012 the Hennie Joubert Piano Competition was once more announced, with founding member Bennie van Eeden on the panel of judges. More information on the Hennie Joubert Piano Competition here.
The Hennie Joubert Piano Competition collection was donated to DOMUS in 2012 by André Serfontein and consists of brochures, computer discs, contracts, correspondence, financial documents, newspaper cuttings, notes, photographs, printed music (copies), programmes and schedules. Extent: 6 pamphlet boxes.
Soprano and lecturer Elizabeth Heyns was involved in teaching at the Department of Music, Stellenbosch University from 1974 to 1992. The items in the Heyns collection pertain to Heyns’s research on the mélodies of Gabriel Fauré and her classes with French baritone Pierre Bernac (1899-1979), for whom Poulenc wrote a number of songs.
Elizabeth Heyns on her working relationship with Pierre Bernac:
‘I attended his first master classes in London (as Lecturer from the Pretoria Teachers College and part-time student at Trinity College of Music). His calm approach, knowledge, patience and special sense of humour immediately impressed me. I commenced my first singing lessons in October 1965 at M. Bernac's Private Studio, 18 Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, Paris VII. His excellent coach, Mme. Suzie Chéreau worked with an intensity and joy on the mélodies of Gluck, Grètry, Duparc, Debussy, Fauré, Roussel and Poulenc until I was ready for M. Bernac's master style lessons. His confidence in me as a singer-teacher-performer was immensely encouraging - so I regularly returned to Paris from December 1968 to December/January 1977 for short periods during my University holidays.
M. Bernac's short letters to me showed a keen interest in my efforts to promote the French mélodies in my teaching and concert career. Towards the end of his life he usually concluded with a playful reference to Ravel’s La Flûte Enchantée: “Do not forget your old Master!”
In his final letter (25/1/79) shortly before his death in Aix-en-Province he shared this joyful news, "His 80th birthday had been celebrated and 10 of his former students had given a superb concert. A very moving event!"
I shall always cherish this great man's humility and contribution to my understanding of the French mélodies! I regret that he did not live to receive my monograph on the mélodies of Gabriel Fauré in 1993 in Paris. However, Mme. Suzie Chéreau received a copy with gratitude on his behalf as well as the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.’
The Heyns collection consists of correspondence (copies), monographs and sound recordings (LPs). Extent: 8 items.
Blyth, Alan. . Bernac, Pierre. In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/02837 [accessed June 14, 2011].
Heyns, Elizabeth. 2011. Personal correspondence. April 15.
Christopher James (1952-2008) was born in Harare, Zimbabwe 1952. His father ran several farms in former Southern Rhodesia. Although he studied the clarinet and piano from a young age, on leaving school he entered a career in chartered accountancy. This career was short-lived and on turning twenty-one he embarked on a musical career. He immigrated to South Africa in 1974 to study music at the University of Pretoria where he studied composition with Stefans Grové and organ with Stephanus Zondagh. During these years he won a number of prizes and scholarships and in 1978 he obtained a teaching position in the Department of Musicology at the University of South Africa. After completing his Masters degree he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for doctoral studies in the United States of America. During the years 1983 to 1985 he furthered his studies at the University of Cincinnati where he studied composition, musicology and music theory with leading American teachers. During this period, much of his work was performed and some of it was broadcast on American public radio.
Since his return to South Africa in 1985, he displayed a growing interest in African music. His doctoral dissertation, Images from Africa, was a choral symphony which made use of African poets. The music combined African melodic and rhythmic features with the contemporary European musical tradition. It was completed in 1987 and in 1989 Christopher James was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts. James was the recipient of the Forte composition prize as well as the Roodepoort International Eisteddfod composition prize. In 1993-1994 he orchestrated the original version of Ushaka, and in recent years wrote two piano concertos and a symphonic poem, Paradise Regained. His most recent work is a four movement cello concerto.
The James collection consists of articles, correspondence, monographs, music manuscripts, notes, periodicals, photographs, printed sheet music, programmes and sound recordings. Extent: 102 pamphlet boxes; ca. 6m monographs and sound recordings.
Jannasch, Friedrich Wilhelm
Friedrich Wilhelm Jannasch, son of European missionaries, was born on 15 October 1853 in Mamre (a district near Malmesbury in the Western Cape). One of seven children, he was sent to Germany at a young age for schooling. He completed his school career at Christiansfeld. He showed an aptitude for music at an early age, and started piano lessons at the age of ten. Later he took organ and piano lessons with Georg Friedrich Hellström. On 5 April 1868 he was employed as apprentice for a cabinet maker in Christiansfeld.
Upon hearing Jannasch playing the organ in 1869, Gustaf Mankell, professor of the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm, was so impressed with him that he decided to finance Jannasch’s studies in music, but with the understanding that Jannasch would devote his career to church music. He had lessons with Mankell, Berens en Lundquist.
After Stockholm he went to Breslau and Berlin where he received training in polyphony and counterpoint from August Haupt. Subsequently he was engaged as organist, teacher and conductor. In approximately 1873 Jannasch accepted a post as organist in Gnadenfrei, Silesia. On 10 January 1877 he married Bertha Auguste Schneider. Despite Bertha’s ill health, four children were born.
At the beginning of July 1883 the Jannasch family visited his sister, Elise, in South Africa (Mamre), after which he commenced his duties in Stellenbosch at the end of the same month. Bertha’s health declined and she died on 10 December 1885. Jannasch married again on 1 July 1886. His new wife, the American teacher, Carrie Ingraham, bore him three children.
Jannasch’s influence in South African music history is primarily with regard church music. Important in this regard were his hymn settings, liturgical compositions for use in church services, lectures on church music and the tradition of choral and congregational music that he established. He was also active as organist, composer, conductor and as music educationalist, becoming one of the founders of the South African Conservatorium of Music (1905) where he was director. Additionally, he was editor and organ expert for the firm R. Müller. He died in Stellenbosch on 19 April 1930.
The Jannasch collection consists of certificates, correspondence, music manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, notes, photographs and programmes. Extent: 11 pamphlet boxes.
Wiese, Y. 2005. Friedrich Wilhelm Jannasch: Katalogus van die dokumente in die Dokumentasiesentrum vir Musiek van die Departement Musiek, Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Unpublished Honours dissertation. Stellenbosch University.
The artist, poet and film maker Aryan Kaganof has initially donated cassette tapes to DOMUS, containing a previously unpublished interview with The Blue Notes double bassist, Johnny Dyani, during his talk on Dyani at the Music and Exile Symposium in Johannesburg (27-28 January 2010). Gradually this collection has been supplemented by rare materials relating to the anti-apartheid struggle. The collection consists of articles, films, newsletters, newspaper cuttings, notes, photographs, posters and sound recordings. Extent: ca. 300 items.
The Konservatorium collection is representative of all processes and functions of the Stellenbosch University Music Department. This collection consists of autograph books, correspondence, financial documents, guest books, monographs, newspaper cuttings, notes, periodicals, photographs and programmes. Extent: ca. 128 pamphlet boxes.
The pianist, pedagogue and journalist José Rodriguez-Lopez started collaborating with the alto Anny Lambrechts in 1931 They were married in 1933. In 1934 and 1935 Rodriguez-Lopez and Lambrechts came to South Africa respectively, where they were engaged in chamber music and contemporary music activities. During a concert tour to Indonesia in the Second World War, both of them were interned by the Japanese forces. In 1946 they returned to South Africa where they resumed their pre-war activities. The Lopez-Lambrechts collection consists of correspondence, lectures, monographs, music manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, notes, periodicals, photographs, posters, printed music and programmes. Extent: 14 pamphlet boxes.
Jacob Daniël Malan (1919-2019) was born in Darling and studied at the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch. In addition to his post as organist at the Groote Kerk, Cape Town, where he worked for 35 years, he was also established as choir conductor, music teacher, organiser of school music and music examiner.
The Malan collection consists of articles, brochures, building plans, certificates, correspondence, financial documents, music manuscripts (copies), newsletters, newspaper cuttings, notes, pamphlets, periodicals, photographs, posters, printed music and programmes. Extent: 23 pamphlet boxes.
Die Burger, 30 June 1988.
Die Groote Kerk-nuus: Maandblad van die Ned. Geref. Gemeente Kaapstad. July 1988.
Music Examinations Collection
This collection contains music examination papers (practical and theoretical) of music examinations in South Africa. Extent: 2 pamphlet boxes.
Musicological Society of Southern Africa
The Musicological Society of Southern Africa was founded in 1979. With the aim to promote music research in South Africa, a periodical (SAMUS) and annual conferences were initiated, primarily with a focus on the Western art music idiom. In 2006, with the decision to involve ethnomusicology and music education, a new society was formed, now called the Southern African Society for Research in Music (SASRIM). The collection of the society consists of articles, brochures, correspondence, financial documents, minutes, notes, periodicals, photographs and sound recordings. Extent: 72 pamphlet boxes. Restrictions apply.
The composer Rosa Nepgen’s exposure to music started from an early age with singing and piano lessons. In 1927 she commenced with a B.A. and B.Mus, with Music, English and Ethics as majors, at the University of the Witwatersrand. Later she was engaged as lecturer at this institution. In 1944 she married the author W.E.G. Louw. Nepgen is particularly known for her Psalm settings and settings of poems by various South African authors. Her collection consists of correspondence, financial documents, monographs, music manuscripts, periodicals, photographs and printed music. Extent: 14 pamphlet boxes of manuscripts and ca. 800 items sheet music of other composers.
Graham Newcater (1941-), South Africa’s most celebrated twelvetone composer was a student of the composer Arnold van Wyk. Further studies with the aid of a SAMRO scholarship were with Peter Racine Fricker at the Royal College of Music. He composed for various genres, of which a ballet production of N.P. van Wyk Louw’s poem Raka was one. The Newcater collection consists of correspondence, monographs, music manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, objets d’art (drawings), photographs and printed music. Extent: 2 pamphlet boxes and ca. 104 oversized items.
NewMusicSA (International Society for Contemporary Music - ISCM)
NewMusicSA was founded in 1999 in order to promote new music by South African composers from all cultural backgrounds. As South African representative for the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), NewMusicSA brought South Africa back into international music circles after being excluded during the apartheid years. Annually composers are approached to submit works for ISCM festivals. NewMusicSA also organises their own festivals such as the New Music Indaba (since 2000), the Unyazi electronic music festival and workshops under the banner of ‘Growing Composers’. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, financial documents, sound recordings and music manuscripts. Extent: 56 pamphlet boxes; ca. 2m sound recordings. More information on NewMusicSA here.
Notes, Lectures and Publications
This section contains general lecture, programme and publication notes by various donors. Extent: 4 items.
Obelisk Music was founded in Pretoria in July 1991 by Étienne van Rensburg, Johannes van Eeden and the late Christopher James for the development of South African New Music. Their first performance was in February 1992. During concerts in the State Theatre and the Musaion at the University of Pretoria they also made recordings. In the early nineties their activities came to a halt.
Composers that feature in the activities of Obelisk, include Alexander Johnson, Andrew Cruickshank, Anton Els, Arnold van Wyk, Arthur Wegelin, Avril Kinsey, Barry Jordan, Carl van Wyk, Christo Jankowitz, Christopher James, Dario Broccardo, Dirk de Klerk, Elliott Carter, Etienne van Rensburg, George S. Fazalhas, Gerrit Jordaan, Graham Newcater, Hannes Taljaard, Hans Huyssen, Hans Roosenschoon, Hendrik Hofmeyr, Herman Jordaan, Hubert du Plessis, Jaco van der Merwe, Jacobus Kloppers, James Rich, Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, Johan Cloete, Johannes van Eeden, John Coulter, Kevin Volans, Martin Watt, Michael Blake, Niel van der Watt, Peter Klatzow, Péter Louis van Dijk, Roelof Temmingh, Sean Gossel, Stefans Grové, Waldo Malan and Wessel van Rensburg.
This collection, reflecting the South African art music practice during the nineties, consists of correspondence, financial documents, music manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, notes, printed music, programmes and sound recordings. Extent: ca. 46 pamphlet boxes.
Periodicals and Newsletters
This collection consists mostly of South African periodicals and newsletters from various donors. Non-South African periodicals and newsletters that contain information on South African musicians, institutions and collections, are also included here. Extent: 5 pamphlet boxes.
This collection consists of programmes of South African performances in South Africa and overseas. Signed programmes of non-South African performers are also included in this collection. Extent: 6 pamphlet boxes.
Michael Scott (1907-1976) was the son of a medical doctor in service of the British Royal Family. His mother was a member of the Meakin family (manufacturers of porcelain). Already at a young age he showed an aptitude for music and even later followed a career in conducting with an assistant conductorship at the Bavarian State Opera. During the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the British Navy. After leaving the navy, he settled in South Africa where he focused on collecting early editions across various disciplines. The music editions are currently housed at DOMUS. The Scott collection consists of brochures, correspondence, monographs; music manuscripts, notes, photographs, printed music and programmes. Extent: ca. 1500 items.
John Simon was born in Cape Town in 1944 and studied piano and musical theory at school. On completing his economics and business degrees at the University of Cape Town in 1965, he moved to London, studying musical composition part-time at the Trinity College of Music and later the Royal College of Music, where his teachers included James Patten and John Lambert. His works have been performed and broadcast in South Africa, the UK and in Europe. His UK activities have included significant work with the BBC. He has written extensively for piano, having composed two piano concertos and five piano sonatas. His main orchestral works include his Symphony, Violin Concerto (BBC premiere), Requiem for Orchestra (BBC premiere under Edward Downes, the work having been recommended to the BBC by Simon Rattle), the symphonic suite Children of the Sun and the orchestral song cycle Portrait of Emily (settings of five poems by Emily Dickinson). His chamber works include a string quartet and a wind quintet (BBC London premiere). A number of his works were written in response to the situation that prevailed in South Africa on his return to the country in 1979. As a consequence Threnody 2 for strings, clarinet and timpani, composed in 1981 and dedicated to the memory of Steve Biko, was under embargo at the SABC until 1993 (it was the first work to use the South African national anthem as a theme). It has since been widely performed and broadcast, including performances at the Edinburgh International Festival and Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. From 2003 to 2005 he was Composer in Residence to the Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban and lecturer in orchestration at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Music. He orchestrated, with the help of the late Christopher James, the Zulu cantata Zizi Lethu by Phelani Mnomiya. This was the celebration piece for the Ten Years of Democracy concert given by the London Symphony Orchestra and KZN Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican in London in 2004. The work was later performed in Germany. In 2011 his Late Gothic Overture was the winning composition in a competition organised by the South African National Youth Orchestra (submission of works on a strictly anonymous basis). Later that year the KZN Philharmonic premiered his symphonic poem Fanfares for Tristan. 2013 saw the BBC Singers giving the first performance of an a cappella setting of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem ‘Justus quidem tu es, Domine’. In 2015 the BBC Philharmonic under John Storgårds premiered the anti-war piece ‘A Cry from a World Aflame’ for strings, trumpets and percussion. 2017 saw the Cape Philharmonic under Bernhard Gueller giving the first performance of Seeing Stars, an entertainment piece for orchestra. In 2018 Coquette for solo flute was chosen to represent South Africa at the ISCM’s World Music Days in Beijing. He recently completed Fugal Fantasia for string orchestra, harp and tam-tam. Besides being a composer John Simon also writes and publishes poetry.
A complete biography with list of works of John Simon is available here. The John Simon collection consists of correspondence and sound recordings. Extent: Correspondence: 14 items; Sound recordings: 45 items. Certain restrictions apply.
This collection consists of donations of Africana sound recordings. Extent: ca. 2 m.
Although the physical chemist Frits Stegmann (1918-1996) had no formal education in music, he is still remembered for his contribution to South African music. The author of various articles and presenter of radio programmes is also known for his correspondence with notable South African and international musicians. His collection consists of address books, annual reports, artefacts, articles, brochures, calendars, catalogues, correspondence, financial documents, memoranda, monographs, newspaper cuttings, notes, periodicals, personal documents, photographs, posters, printed music and programmes. Extent: 132 pamphlet boxes.
The Stellenbosch University Choir was established in 1936 by William Morris. Further conductors included: Gawie Cillié (1940-1954), Philip McLachlan (1955-1976), Johan de Villiers (1977-1984), Acáma Fick (1985-1992), Sonja van der Walt (1993-2002) and André van der Merwe (since 2003).
Recent highlights in the history of the choir include their participation in the World Choir Games in Bremen, Germany (2004) as winners of the category Youth Choirs, participation with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in composer Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Sinfonia Africana (2004), the reunion and celebration of the 70th year of the choir (2006), and a first place in the open category for Musica Sacra and second place in the category Gospel & Spiritual during the Fifth World Choir Games Graz, Austria (2008).
The US Choir also boasts a number of recordings, under which resort Illumina (2006 – new works of South African composers) and Laudate (2008 – contains amongst others, spirituals and South African works).
The US Choir collection consists of artefacts, correspondence, newsletters, periodicals, photographs, posters, programmes, sound recordings and textiles (choir uniforms). Extent: 102 pamphlet boxes, ca. 280 oversized items.
Suider-Afrikaanse Kerkorrelistevereniging (SAKOV)
The Suider-Afrikaanse Kerkorrelistevereniging (SAKOV) was founded on 10 May 1980 with the aim to promote Protestant church music in Afrikaans churches. Their geographic coverage also includes Namibia. Simultaneously SAKOV serves as professional body for subject knowledge amongst organists. The SAKOV collection consists of artefacts, certificates, correspondence, financial documents, minutes, newsletters, newspaper cuttings, notes, periodicals (Vir die Musiekleier), posters, sheet music and sound recordings. Extent: 12 pamphlet boxes. Further information on SAKOV here. See also Bouwer van Rooyen collection.
Walter Donald Swanson (1903-1985) is known as conductor, arranger, pedagogue, performer and broadcaster. His collection consists of correspondence, photographs, newspaper cuttings, programmes, autograph and printed scores and sound recordings. Extent: 73 pamphlet boxes and ca. 1 m sound recordings.
Van der Spuy, George
George van der Spuy (1918-2008) is chiefly known as pedagogue and performer in singing. He has also become known for his highly refined artistic interpretations of various works. He received training at the Universities of Rhodes (Grahamstown) and Stellenbosch, as well as various overseas qualifications. He was employed as teacher and organist in Graaff-Reinet and as lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1952 he succeeded Maria Fismer as head of the Konservatorium and in 1978 he was promoted to associate professor. After his retirement in 1979 he continued teaching singing privately. Extent: Documents: 7 pamphlet boxes, Sound recordings: ca. 300 items, Monographs: ca. 4m; Printed music: ca. 2 m.
Malan, J. (ed.). 1986. George Zondagh van der Spuy, in: Suid-Afrikaanse Musiekensiklopedie. Kaapstad: Oxford University Press.421-422.
Ottermann, R.E. 1988. Erepenning vir musiek aan prof. G.Z. van der Spuy: Huldigingswoord. Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns: Jaarboek. 33.
Uys, M. 1993. George van de Spuy word vyf-en-sewentig. Musicus, 21(1): 39-42.
Van Niekerk, Hanlie
Opera singer Hanlie van Niekerk (1927-2005) was born in Johannesburg. She received her first singing lessons from Evelyn Fincken in Cape Town and violin lessons with Hans Endler in Stellenbosch. In 1949 she took voice production lessons with Olga Ryss in Johannesburg. In 1951 and 1952 Van Niekerk took part in two light Afrikaans films, Hiers ons Weer and Altyd in my Drome. At the end of 1956, she left, with her family and first husband, for Europe where she studied under Professor Peter Klein in Vienna. An appointment as lyric soprano at the Bonn Opera House in 1958 was followed by further commitments in Kassel, Berlin, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Augsburg, Salzburg, Hannover, Basel, Dortmund, Regensburg, Vienna, Paris, Nürnberg and Glyndebourne. In 1968 she married South African politician Stephanus Louwrens Muller. She gave her last performance in 1970. The Van Niekerk collection consists of brochures, certificates, contracts, correspondence, diaries, music manuscripts, (includes manuscript copies), newsletters, newspaper cuttings, notes, periodicals, personal documents, photographs, posters, printed music, programmes and reports. Extent: 13 pamphlet boxes.
Van Rooyen, Bouwer
Extent: 2 pamphlet boxes. See also SAKOV collection.
Van Wyk, Arnold
The composer Arnold van Wyk (1916-1983) already started improvising from his childhood. After school he studied at the Stellenbosch University. During a concert arranged by Charles Weich and the Oranjeklub a representative of the Performing Right Society, who attended the concert was so impressed with Van Wyk that it lead to the establishment of a bursary for South African composers. In 1938 Van Wyk received this bursary to study at the Royal Academy of Music. After his return to South Africa Van Wyk was employed part-time by the SABC and also lectured at the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch. The Van Wyk collection consists of correspondence, diaries, monographs, music manuscripts, notes, photographs and printed music. Extent: ca. 29 m. A print or electronic list is available on request. Sheet music and monographs are accessed via the Stellenbosch University library catalogue.
The collection of Charles Weich (1892-1973), formerly a critic for Die Burger (1932-1962), contains documents representing his position as music critic under the pseudonym Emol, his involvements with Die Oranjeklub and also of his acquaintance with noted South African composers such as Arnold van Wyk, Stefans Grové, Hubert du Plessis and Blanche Gerstman. The collection consists of brochures, certificates, constitutional documents, correspondence, financial documents, lectures, libretti, minutes, monographs, music manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, notes, periodicals, photographs, posters, printed music and programmes. Extent: 30 pamphlet boxes.