Grové, Stefans


b. Bethlehem, 23 June 1922


South African composer and teacher. Grové was born in Bethlehem in the Orange Free State. He grew up in Bloemfontein, receiving his first music tuition from his mother, herself a music teacher. He learnt the piano, organ and flute, receiving lessons for the former two from his uncle, the well-known South African musician D. J. Roode. Grové enrolled at the South African College of Music in Cape Town in 1945, where he numbered William Henry Bell, Cameron Taylor and Erik Chisholm amongst his teachers. From 1950 to 1952 he worked as an accompanist for the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Cape Town and wrote occasional reviews for the leading Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger. In 1953, he became the first South African to be awarded a Fullbright Scholarship. He accordingly moved to the USA, where he studied at Harvard University and the Longy Music School. In America, Grové was taught by Walton Piston and, after winning the Margaret Croft  Scholarship, by Aaron Copland at Tanglewood. In 1957 Grové was appointed to a lectureship in music theory and composition at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, where he remained, with occasional interruptions, until 1972. He then returned to South Africa, and was appointed to the staff of the University of Pretoria, where he is today Composer-in-Residence. His students have included Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, Alexander Johnson and Herman Jordaan. 


Grové’s early works betray the influence of the Neo-Classicism of the Hindemith School, though his music is always distinguished by a fine ear for colour. In 1983, he began incorporating specifically ‘African’ elements into his music, his first work in this vein being the Violin Sonata on African Motives; Grové was in fact one of the very first composers to engage in a serious creative exploration of indigenous African music, removed from the realm of mere ‘couleur locale’. He is also one of the most prominent writers on music to have emerged from South Africa, working for many years as concert and record reviewer of leading newspapers – the bibliography of his writings includes over a thousand titles. He is also an acknowledged author of fiction, having published many short stories.






Die bose wind (Stefans Grové), opera in three acts, 1983




Ballet suite, 1944 


Alice in Wonderland, based on Lewis Carroll, Baltimore 1960 


Waratha, 1977 


Pinocchio, ballet for children, 3 acts, 1988 


Incidental Music: 

Uit die dagboek van ’n soldaat (N.P. van Wyk Louw), 1963 


Orchestral works: 


Elegy, for string orchestra, 1948 


Overture, 1953 


Konsertante simfonie, for chamber orchestra, 1955 


Symphony 1962 


Partita, 1962 


Kettingrye (Chain Rows), 1978 


Vladimir’s Round Table. Study in the Russian Style, 1982 


Statement for future elaboration, 1983 


Dance Rhapsody: Cosmopolitan City, 1985 


Concertato Overture: Five Salutations on Two Zulu Themes, 1986 


Overture Itubi – a Festive Dance, 1992 


Invocation from the Hills and Dances in the Plains, 1994 




Sinfonia concertante, 1955 


Concerto for violin and orchestra, 1959 


Daarstelling, for flute, harpsichord and strings, 1972 


Concerto Grosso, for violin, cello, piano and string orchestra, 1974 


Maya, concerto grosso for violin, piano and string orchestra, 1978 


Suite Concertato. Homage to Bach, Handel and Scarlatti, for harpsichord and string orchestra, 1985 


Raka: Symphonic Poem in the Form of a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, after N. P. van Wyk Louw’s Raka, 1995-6 


Concertino for piano, trumpet, marimba, flute and strings, 2003 


Brass or Wind Ensemble: 


Tower Music for brass ensemble, 1954 


Suite Juventuti, for winds and percussion, 1986


Chamber Music: 


String Quartet in D Major, 1946 


Czardas, for violin and piano, 1945 


String Trio, 1947 


Sonata for clarinet and piano, 1949 


Duo for violin and cello, 1950 


Duo for viola and cello, 1950 (arr. of the Duo for violin and cello) 


Trio, for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 1951 


Trio for violin, cello and piano, 1951 


Serenade, for flute, oboe, viola, clarinet and harp, 1952 


Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 1952 


Sonata for cello and piano, 1953 


Quintet for harp and string quartet, 1954 


Divertimento, for recorder trio, 1953 


Sonatina for two recorders, 1955 


Metamorfose. Humoristiese variasies op ‘Baba Black Sheep’, for recorder trio, 1955 


Sonata for flute and piano, 1955 


String quartet, 1955 


Divertimento, for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 1955 


Two Movements for string quartet, 1958 


Sonatine, for recorders, 1960 


Three pieces for harp, 1974 


The night of 3 April, for flute and harpsichord, 1975 


Portret van ’n meisie, for clarinet and guitar, 1975 


For a winter’s day, phantasy for bassoon and piano, 1977 


Scaramouche, for bassoon solo, 1978 


Tribal Dance, for bassoon and piano, 1981 


Conversation for three, for oboe/cor anglais, clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion, 1978 


Cyclops, for double bass and piano, 1980 


Symphonia quattuor cordis, for violin solo, 1981 


Herderslied, for oboe and piano, 1981 


Aubade, for trumpet and piano, 1981 


Koraal, for flute and piano, 1981 


Chloe, for oboe and piano, 1981 


Fanfare,for trumpet and piano, 1981 


Bose kabouter, for clarinet and piano, 1981 


Mirror on the Wall, for clarinet and piano, 1981 


Swaaieande takke, for flute and piano, 1981 


Hartseerlied, for clarinet and piano, 1981 


Kronkelsleepsels in die sand, for clarinet and piano, 1981 


Akwarel tweekeer besigtigk for double bass and piano, 1983 


Concerto senza orchestra, for six cellos, 1984 


Gesprek vir drie, for oboe/cor anglais, clarinet/bass clarinet and percussion (Orff instruments, glock, 3 bongos, cassa roulante), undated 


Quintet for harp, flute, clarinet, violin and viola, 1986 


Sextet for Cellos, 1986 


Sonata on African Motives, for violin and piano, 1984 


Pan and the Nightingale, for flute solo, 198? 


City Serenade, for flute, clarinet, viola, cello and harp, 1985 


Trio, for violin, horn and piano, 1988 


Jeux de timbres, for harp, celeste and percussion (timpani, claves, gong, crotales, tamt, marimba), 1992 


String Quartet: Song of the African Spirits, 1993 


Sonata for Viola and Piano, 1994 


Soul Bird, for flute, cello and piano, 1998 


Portrait of a Clarinet Dancer, for clarinet solo, 1999 


Organ Works: 


Ritual, a fantasy for organ with four manuals, 1969 


Chorale Prelude on Psalm 42, 1974 


Rhapsodic Toccata, 1974 


Afrika Hymnus I, 1991-3 


Afrika Hymnus II, 1997 


Piano Music: 


Four Piano Pieces, 1945 


Six mood pictures, pre-1947 


Three Inventions, 1951 


Three piano pieces, 1965 


Toccata and Rhapsody, 1965 


An experience in musical styles, for piano / harpsichord, ca 1970 


Four piano pieces, 1975 


Seven graded piano pieces for the youth, 1975 


Sad Song 


Cock Fighting 


Night Music from a Far-Eastern Country, 1981 


Bondige tokkate, 1981 


Die klokke, for piano duet, 1981 


Windklokkies in die nag, for piano duet, 1984 


Wals van die Olifantjie, for piano duet, 1981 


Songs and Dances of Africa, 1991-2 


Blue Dream Valley, 1992 


Jewish Folksongs, 1993 


Nonyana, the Ceremonial Dancer, 1994 


Images from Africa, 1998-9 


Masks for two pianos, 1999 




Cadenzas for Mozart’s Piano Concerto in E Flat, K 482


Choral Works:


2 Carols from Musica Britannica, 1974 


Kaapse draaie (D. J. Opperman), for choir (SATB), guitar, piano, marimba, flute, clarinet and xylophone, 1974 


Garden (Louis Eksteen), for female chorus (SSA), flute and viola, 1974 


Landloper (Louis Eksteen), for female chorus (SSA), 1975 


Lied van die Transvaal (F. J. Pretorius), for double choir (SSAATTBB), pianoforte duet, two trumpets and three timpani, 1975 


Symphony, for three-part choir and orchestra, 1975 (unfinished) 


Music for Easter, for Choir, organ, flute, strings and Orff instruments, 1977 


Advent Music for choir, recorder and Orff instruments, 1977 


Gesange 133 & 135, by H.L. Hassler, arr. Stefans Grové, 1983 


Himmelskönig sei willkommen, for chorus (SATB), 2 trumpets and organ, 1982 


Omnis caterva fidelium, for children’s chorus (SSA) and piano, 1985 


Concerto burlesco: Gaudeamus igitur: Grepe uit die lewe van ’n eerstejaar (Stefans Grové), for narrator, chorus (SATB) and orchestra, 1992 


Psalm 150 in Southern Sotho, for double choir (SATB / SATB), strings and percussion, 1996 


Psalm 138, for children’s chorus (SA), chorus (SATB), African drums (two players), marimba and string orchestra, 2002 


Solo Vocal Music: 

Drie liedere, before 1945: 1. Dis al, (J. F. E. Celliers); 2. Berusting (Toon van den Heever); 3. Weeklag (Anon.) 


Cantata profana (Stefans Grové), for two voices, flute, oboe, harpsichord and cello, 1959 


Psalm 74, for mezzo-soprano, flute and harp, 1974 


Three Japanese Songs, for mezzo-soprano and guitar, 1974 


Five songs (Anon.: Old Chinese poems), for mezzo-soprano and guitar, 1975 


Psalm 54, for mezzo-soprano, flute and harp, 1974 


Light over Judea (Louis Eksteen), for mezzo-soprano and a melody instrument, 1975 


Fulgebunt justi, for mezzo-soprano, alto flute and guitar, 1975 


Vyf liedere op tekste van Ingrid Jonker, for soprano and piano, 1981 


Bid (Petra Muller), for soprano and piano, 1988 


Halfpad (Petra Muller), for soprano and piano, 1988 


Daar waar jy woon (Petra Muller), for soprano and piano, 1988 


7 Boesman-liedere, for soprano, string quartet and piano, 1990 


Zulu Horizons (Benedict Vilakazi), four songs for voice and orchestra, 1992






Geredigeerde onderhoud met Stefans Grové

in La Pat Koffiekroeg by die Universiteit van Pretoria

op 10 Desember 2001 deur Stephanus Muller

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