Klatzow, Peter

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Peter Klatzow


Born: July 14, 1945

Died: December 29, 2021

Country: Springs, South Africa

Studies: St. Martin's School, Johannesburg; Royal College of Music in London

Teachers: Nadia Boulanger, Bernard Stevens, Gordon Jacob


After matriculating at St Martin's School, Johannesburg, he spent a year teaching music and Afrikaans at the then newly established Waterford School, Swaziland.

The award of the South African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) scholarship for composers in 1964 took him to the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied composition with Bernard Stevens, piano with Kathleen Long, and orchestration with Gordon Jacob. In that year he won several of the College composition prizes as well as the Royal Philharmonic prize for composition, which was open to any Commonwealth composer under 30. He spent the following years in Italy and Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger.

Since returning to South Africa in 1966, he has worked at the SABC in Johannesburg as a music producer, and in 1973 was appointed to the University of Cape Town, where he is presently Associate Professor in Composition. In 1986 he was elected to the rank of Fellow of the University of Cape Town for "having performed original distinguished academic work of such quality as to merit special recognition."

One of the few South African composers to achieve international recognition, Peter Klatzow has won prizes in Spain and Toronto, and his works have been performed in various European centres and the United States. In South Africa he was awarded the prestigious Helgard Steyn prize worth £6000 for his piano suite "From the Poets".

His major works include a full length ballet on Hamlet, music for ballets on Drie Diere and Vier Gebede, and Concertos for various solo instruments; piano, clarinet, organ, marimba, and a double Concerto for flute and marimba. His Prayers and Dances of Praise from Africa was recently introduced at the Three Choirs Festival, Worcester, UK. Last year saw the first performances of two new works; his 3rd String Quartet (commissioned by the Lake District Summer Music Festival for the Chilingirian Quartet) and Return of the Moon, a cycle for voices and marimba, commissioned by the King's Singers for themselves and Evelyn Glennie.[1]

Works for Percussion

A Sense of Place - Marimba, Cello
Ambient Resonances (Echoes of Time and Place) - Percussion Duo
Concerto for Marimba (Klatzow) - Marimba, Orchestra
Dances of Earth and Fire - Marimba
Double Concerto (Klatzow) - Marimba, Flute, Orchestra
Figures in a Landscape - Marimba, Flute
Inyanga - Marimba
Lightscapes - Marimba; Chamber Ensemble
Night Music, with Illuminations - Marimba, Flute
Return of the Moon - Marimba, Male Vocal Ensemble
Six Concert Etudes for Marimba - Marimba
Sonata for Solo Marimba - Marimba
Variations on THE theme of Paganini, for 2 marimbas - Percussion Duo
Words by Watson - Marimba, Male Vocal Ensemble