Everson, Cromwell

Everson’s musical interest began in his early childhood due to a small amateur orchestra rehearsing at his parent’s home in Beaufort West. He took music as a subject at school and later continued as a music student at the University of Stellenbosch under Prof. Maria Fismer, Prof. Erik Chisholm and Prof. Jack Westrup. 


Cromwell Everson taught music as a subject at Paul Roos High School in Stellenbosch. After various other positions he became music teacher in Worcester where he organized the town’s first music festival in 1957. Mozart’s Zauberflote was performed on this occasion. The opera inspired Everson to write an opera with his own libretto based on a classic Greek tragedy, Klutaimnestra. The whole work is based on a twelve-tone motive and makes use of a contrapuntal “spreekkoor”. It was performed in 1968 in Worcester. Everson’s doctoral thesis, completed in 1974, is based on research about the twelve-tone idiom of Anton Webern. 


After meeting the Dutch composer Henk Badings in 1970 Everson developed an intense interest in electronic music. In 1976 he accepted a position at the Natal Technicon where he continued research in the field of acoustic and computer music. He used mathematical, statistical and graphic research methods to isolate sound from symbol. Everson’s compositions include Vier liefdesliedjies (1950) based of poems of N.P. van Wyk Louw and W.E.G. Louw.


Seven elegies

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