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Hendrik Hofmeyr

CountrySouth Africa
Date of birth20 November 1957

Hendrik Hofmeyr was born in Cape Town in 1957. His first major success as a composer came in 1988 with the performance at the State Theatre of The Fall of the House of Usher, which won the South African Opera Competition and was also awarded the Nederburg Opera Prize. In the same year, Hofmeyr, who was furthering his studies in Italy during ten years of self-imposed exile as a conscientious objector, obtained first prize in an international competition with music for a short film by Wim Wenders. In 1992 he accepted a post as lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch, and in 1997 won two further international competitions, the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium (with Raptus for violin and orchestra) and the Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition in Athens (with Byzantium for high voice and orchestra). His Incantesimo for flute was chosen to represent South Africa at the Congress of the International Society of Contemporary Music in Croatia in 2005. In 2008 he was honoured with a Kanna Award by the Kleinkaroo National Arts Festival. Hofmeyr, who has some 90 commissioned works to his credit, is currently professor in Music at the University of Cape Town, where he obtained his Doctorate in 1999.


“music of ravishing sensuality and emotional power... I know of no other living composer (let alone a young one) who manages the considerable risks of this highly exceptional aesthetic with such conviction... A strong and individualistic musical voice without the exclusivity that frequently accompanies [contemporary music].” Stephanus Muller, Die Burger, 14/10/2002

“...a composer who will undoubtedly be regarded as one of the most important that South Africa has produced... a highly developed sense of sonic architecture, organisation and colour... boundless inspiration.” Paul Boekkooi, Rapport, 27/4/2003

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