Hofmeyr, Hendrik


HOFMEYR, Hendrik Pienaar


(b Cape Town, 20 November 1957


Hendrik Hofmeyr was born in Cape Town in 1957. He graduated from the University of Cape Town with an MMus before leaving for Italy on an overseas scholarship in 1981. During 10 years of self-imposed exile as a conscientious objector, he obtained Italian State diplomas in composition, piano and conducting. In 1987, he won the South African Opera Competition with ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. He also received the annual Nederburg Prize for Opera for this work, subsequent to its production at the State Theatre in Pretoria in 1988. In the same year, he obtained first prize in the TrentoCinema - La colonna sonora International Competition in Trent, Italy, with a work for chamber orchestra, composed for a short film by Wim Wenders. Hofmeyr returned to South Africa in 1992 to take up a post as lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1997 he won two major international competitions, the Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium (with Raptus for violin and orchestra) and the first edition of the Dimitris Mitropoulos Competition in Athens (with Byzantium for soprano and orchestra). 


His String Quartet received its London première at the Wigmore Hall in 1999, and in 2001 a specially commissioned work, Tu pauperum refugium was performed by choirs from South Africa, Canada, Japan and Israel at a UNESCO-sponsored gala concert in Vancouver. This work, together with several other of his choral works, was published by Boosey and Hawkes (New York) in 2002. A CD featuring Hofmeyr’s concertos for flute and for piano was issued by the Distell Foundation in the same year. 


His Incantesimo for flute was selected to represent South Africa at the 2005 Congress of the International Society for Contemporary Music in Croatia. In 2008 he was honoured with a Kanna Award by the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (Oudtshoorn).


Hofmeyr currently holds the post of associate professor at the University of Cape Town, from which he obtained a Doctorate in Music in 1999. 




The Fall of the House of Usher (1 act chamber opera, libretto by the composer, after Edgar Allan Poe), lyric soprano, 1-2 tenors, bass-baritone, flute (+ piccolo, alto flute), oboe (+ English horn), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), bassoon, French horn, harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass, 2 percussion, 1987; Vala - A Metaphysical Ballet (scenario by the composer, after William Blake), large orchestra, 1989; The Land of Heart's Desire (1 act chamber opera, libretto by the composer, after William Butler Yeats), soprano leggero, lyric soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, flute (+ piccolo, alto flute), oboe (+ English horn), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), bassoon, French horn, harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass, 2 percussion, 1989; Alice (3 act ballet, scenario by the composer, after Lewis Carroll), large orchestra, 1990-91 (a suite was arranged; also versions of Tango for 3 clarinets, 3 violins, cello, piano 4 hands and violin, viola, cello, piano; versions of some sections for 2 pianos); Lumukanda (3 act opera, libretto by the composer, after Credo Mutwa), 4 sopranos, 3 mezzo-sopranos, alto, 3 tenors, baritone, 2 basses, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 1993-96; Die Laaste Aand (1 act chamber opera, libretto by the composer, after C.L. Leipoldt), lyric soprano, tenor, 2 baritones, 2 basses, flute, oboe (+ English horn), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), bassoon (+ contrabassoon), French horn, string quartet, double bass, percussion, 2001



Immagini da 'Il cielo sopra Berlino', small orchestra (21 players), 1988; Alice, large orchestra, 1996 (suite from ballet); Raptus, violin, orchestra, 1997; Ingoma, 1998 (adaptation of Thula, babana, Uqongqot'hwane; also longer version with 7 additional brass, 1998); Apocalypsis, large orchestra, 1998; Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra, 1999; Concerto per flauto e orchestra, 1999; Simulacrum, large orchestra, 2000; Umculo Wemvula (Rainmusic), 2001; Concerto per violino e flauto, flute, violin, 16 strings, 2002; Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, 2004; Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, 2006; Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, 2007



Wonderland Suite, oboe, piano, 1977; Cavatina, flute, piano, 1980; Partita canonica, clarinet, 1983; Die Lied van Juanita Perreira, cello, piano, 1985; Cadenza, cello, 1994; Incantesimo, flute, 1996 (also version for tenor recorder, 2002); Nelle mani d'Amduscias, violin, 1996; Notturno elegiaco, harp, 1996 (also versions for flute, cello, piano, 1998; violin, cello, piano, 2003); Tango, 3 clarinets, 3 violins, cello, piano 4 hands, 1997 (version of section of Alice; also versions for violin, viola, cello, piano, 2003; for 6 cellos, 2003); First String Quartet, 1998; Ingoma, soprano recorder (+ alto recorder), alto recorder, tenor recorder, bass recorder, 2000 (adaptation of Thula, babana , Uqongqot'hwane); Luamerava, violin, 2000; Marimba, flute, 2000; Scherzetto, alto recorder, 2000; Luanaledi, alto recorder (+ tenor recorder), 2001; Partita, viola, 2001; Il poeta e l'usignolo, flute, guitar, 2004 (also version for flute, harp, 2005); Tango dell'amarezza, cello, double bass, 2004 (also versions for cello, piano, 2005; double bass, piano, 2005); Crucifixus, cello, organ, 2004; Variations on a Chorale, flute, organ, 2005; Second String Quartet, 2006; Sonata for Horn and Piano, 2006; Sonata for flute and piano, 2006 (also version for violin, piano, 2008); Variations on an African Lullaby, 2007; Lachrymae, guitar, 2007; Rapsodia notturna, guitar, piano, 2007; Endymion and the Moon, violin, harp, 2008; Trio, violin, cello, piano, 2008; Sonata for Violin and Piano, 2008



Liederwysgesange (text by Boerneef), mixed chorus, piano, 1983; Sound the Flute! (text by William Blake), mixed chorus, piano, 1985-86; Sweet was the Song (text by John Attey), mixed chorus, 1986 (also version for children's/female chorus, 2001); Care-Charmer Sleep (text by Samuel Daniel), 5 mixed voices, 1987; Missa Sancti Ignatii de Loyola, soprano, 9 mixed voices, orchestra, 1988; Requiem, soprano, alto, tenor, bass, 8 mixed voices, 1975-93; Kersliedjie (text by D.J. Opperman), mixed chorus, orchestra, 1995 (also versions for female/mixed chorus, piano, 2002; female chorus, 2003); Par les sentiers de lumière (text by Lamine Diakhaté), 8 mixed voices, 1996; Iubilate Deo, mixed chorus, 1997; Die Spokewals (text by Boerneef), 8 mixed voices, 1998 (also version for 8 male voices, 2004); Eden (text by Ida Rousseau), children's/female chorus, 1999; Tu pauperum refugium (texts from the Bible, Latin liturgy), 8/12 children's/female voices, audience, 2000 (also version for 8 mixed voices, audience, 2001); Stabat Mater, 8 mixed voices, 2000; Pie Jesu, mixed chorus, 2001; A sexta autem hora (text from the Bible), 8 mixed voices, 2001; The Eccho (text by Richard Leigh), 6 mixed voices, 2001; How sweet the moonlight (text by William Shakespeare), 8 children's/female voices, 2001; De profundis, male chorus, 2001; Afrika (text by C.M. van den Heever), 6 mixed voices, 2001; My venster is 'n blanke vlak (text by N.P. Van Wyk Louw), soprano, mixed chorus, 2002; Nunc dimittis, mixed chorus, 2002; Hodie Christus natus est, children's/female chorus, 2002 (also versions for children's/female chorus, mixed chorus, 2003; mixed chorus, 2003); Ek wonder of jy soms (text by I.P. Du Plessis), mixed chorus, 2002; Super flumina Babylonis (text from Psalm 137), 6 mixed voices, 2002; Sedoosmusiek (text by Boerneef), mixed chorus, 2003; Die Here is my herder (text from Psalm 23 [Afrikaans translation]), mixed chorus, 2003 (version of Psalm 23); The Healing Prayer (text by Elizabeth Peter-Ross), mixed chorus, audience, 14 strings, 2003 (also shorter version for mixed chorus, audience/congregation, organ, 2003); Sinfonia africana (texts by Eugène N. Marais, D.J. Opperman, C.M. van den Heever), soprano, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2003; A Carol Cantata (texts from the carols Hodie Christus natus est and I Sing of a Maiden, John Attey, D.J. Opperman [English translation]), soprano, mixed chorus, string orchestra, 2004; Die Dans van die Reën (text by Eugène N. Marais), 8 mixed voices, 2004; Winternag (text by Eugène Marais), mixed chorus, 2005; Psalm 103 (text from Psalm 103 [Afrikaans translation]), mixed chorus, 2006; Lawaaimusiek (text by Boerneef), mixed chorus, 2006; By jonasdrif se sekelgat (text by Boerneef), mixed chorus; Batter my heart (text by John Donne), mixed chorus, 2007; The Birth of Orc (text from The Four Zoas by William Blake), 8 mixed voices, 2007; Mabalêl (text by Eugène Marais), 4 equal voices, 2007; Saulus in Damascum (text from Acts of the Apostles) mixed chorus, 2007; Desert Sun (text by the composer, based on Bushman legends), 8 mixed voices, 2007; In lumine tuo (text from Latin liturgy), mixed chorus, 2007;  Lied van !Kò (text by the composer, based on Bushman songs), mixed chorus, 2007; Rut (text from the Bible), children's/female chorus, 2008



Music, when soft voices die... (text by Percy Bysshe Shelley), high/medium voice, piano, 1983 (also version for high/medium voice, violin, viola, cello, 1994); Tre liriche in stilo antico (texts by Giacomo Leopardi, Torquato Tasso, Giuseppe Ungaretti), high voice, piano, 1982-84 (also versions of one section, Quiete, for high voice, violin, piano, 1989; medium voice, cello, piano, 2000; voice, clarinet, piano, 2003; versions of another section, L'infinito, for high voice, violin, piano, 2000; medium voice, cello, piano, 2000; voice, clarinet, piano, 2003; voice, flute, piano, 2003); Drie Gedigte van Elisabeth Eybers, mezzo-soprano/alto, piano, 1977-85; Twee Gedigte van Eugène Marais, high voice, piano, 1978-85; Of Innocence and Experience (text by William Blake), high voice, piano, 1982-85; Tre canzoni (texts by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Giosuè Carducci, Enrico Panzacchi), high/medium voice, piano, 1983-85; Two Songs of Mervyn Peake, high/medium voice, piano, 1985; The Death of Cleopatra (text by William Shakespeare), soprano, flute, alto flute, bass clarinet, French horn, harp, viola, double bass, vibraphone, 1986 (also version for soprano, clarinet, viola, piano, 2004); Alleenstryd (text by S.V. Petersen), voice, piano, 1996; Fragment from 'Prometheus Unbound' (text by Percy Bysshe Shelley), high voice, flute, clarinet, French horn, harp/piano, violin, viola, cello, vibraphone, marimba, 1996; Le bateau ivre (text by Arthur Rimbaud), medium/low voice, flute, French horn, harp, cello, vibraphone (+ tam-tam), 1996; Byzantium (text by William Butler Yeats), soprano/mezzo-soprano/tenor, orchestra, 1997; Of Darkness and the Heart (text by Fiona Zerbst), lyric soprano/mezzo-soprano, orchestra, 1999 (also versions for soprano, piano, 2002; soprano, string quartet, 2005); Ballade van die Bloeddorstige Jagter (text by G.A. Watermeyer), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, 24 strings, 2000; Gebed om die Gebeente (text by D.J. Opperman), soprano/high mezzo-soprano, flute, cello, piano, 2000; Due sonetti di Petrarca, high voice, soprano recorder/flute, cello, harpsichord/piano, 2000; Psalm 23, soprano/mezzo-soprano/tenor, cello, 2000 (also choral version as Die Here is my herder); Ainsi qu'on oit le cerf bruire (text from Psalm 42 [translated by Louis Bourgeois]), high voice, flute, cello, piano, 2002 (also version with harpsichord instead of piano, 2004); Oda a la bella desnuda (text by Pablo Neruda), soprano/tenor, cello, 2002; Die stil avontuur (song-cycle, text by Elisabeth Eybers [also version in English translation]), soprano, piano, 2003 (also version for mezzo-soprano, piano, 2004); Vier Gebede by Jaargetye in die Boland (song-cycle, text by N.P. Van Wyk Louw), voice, piano, 2004; Nocturne (text by William Shakespeare), mezzo-soprano, baritone, piano, 2004; en skielik is dit aand (song-cycle, text by Wilhelm Knobel), voice, piano, 2005; Ode to the West Wind (text by Percy Bysshe Shelley), high voice, orchestra, 2006; Nog in my laaste woorde (text by N.P. Van Wyk Louw), voice, piano, 2006; Dover Beach (text by Matthew Arnold), high voice, flute, cello, piano, 2007



Nag, 1981-83; Die Dans van die Reën, 1985; Four Pieces from Alice, 2 pianos, 1998 (version of music from the ballet); Chaconne, 1999; The Four-Note Waltz, 2 pianos, 2000; Toccata, 2001; Variations on a Mazurka of Chopin, 2002; Notturno, 2003; Sonata for Two Pianos, 2004; March of the Lilliputians, 2006; Partita africana (Preludio, Umsindo, River of Sorrow, Kalunga), 1999-2006



Uqongqot'hwane (Xhosa traditional), mixed chorus, 1995 (also adapted as part of both works entitled Ingoma); Thula, babana (Xhosa traditional), children's/female chorus, 1999 (also adapted as part of both works entitled Ingoma); Ma, daar kom die jong soldaat (Afrikaans traditional), female chorus, 2001; Dubula (Xhosa traditional), mixed chorus, 2003; Three African Songs, contralto, chamber orchestra, 2005



Immagini da 'Il cielo sopra Berlino'. Maurizio Dino Ciacci/Orchestra Musica '900 (Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Trento Cinema - La Colonna Sonora/Ricordi: SMRL 6396, 1988)

Raptus. Andrew Haveron, violin; Marc Soustrot/Koninklijke Filharmonie van Vlaanderen (Cyprès: CYP 9306, 1997)

Kalunga. Ju Jin, piano (BMG Records Africa: CDCLA [LF] 003, 2000)

Chaconne. Grethe Nöthling, piano (Muzik Front, 2000)

Die Spokewals; Uqongqot'hwane; Thula, babana. André van der Merwe/Pro Cantu (Pro Cantu, 2000)

Incantesimo (original version). Merryl Neille, flute (University of Pretoria Music Department: CSO502, 2001)

Pie Jesu. Leon Starker/SA College of Music Choir (Pasmae: CDPASMAE001, 2002)

A sexta autem hora. University of Pretoria Camerata (Prospect Tonstudio: GEMA 00122, 2002)

Ainsi qu'on oit le cerf bruire; Requiem (excerpts). Sanet Allen, Marianne Serfontein, sopranos; Suzanne Erasmus, alto; Stephen Carletti, tenor; Timothy Visser, bass; Marietjie Pauw, flute; Anmari van der Westhuizen, cello; Bennie van Eeden, piano (Sunset Recording Studios/Huguenot Foundation of South Africa, 2002)

Concerto per flauto e orchestra; Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra; Ingoma (second orchestral version). Helen Vosloo, flute; François du Toit, piano; Emmanuel Siffert/National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa (Distell Foundation for the Performing Arts: CDX02/002, 2002)

Tu pauperum refugium (original version). Hennie Loock/Tygerberg Children's Choir, Odawara Children's Choir (Japan), Moram Choir (Israel), Newfoundland Youth Symphony Choir Cape (Tygerberg Children's Choir, 2002)


How sweet the moonlight. André van der Merwe/ Stellenberg Girls Choir (Stellenberg Girls Choir, 2002)

Of Innocence and Experience (sections The sick rose and A cradle song); Twee Gedigte van Eugène Marais (section Winternag); Tre liriche in stilo antico (section L'infinito [version for voice, flute, piano]); Oda a la bella desnuda (section 2); Due sonetti di Petrarca (section Zefiro torna). Julia Bronkhorst, soprano; Paula van Delden, flute; Rebecca Smit, cello; Jacco Lamfers, piano (Q DISC: Q 97042, 2003)

Sweet was the Song. Hennie Loock/Tygerberg Children's Choir (Tygerberg Children's Choir 2003) 


Hodie Christus natus est (original version). Hennie Loock/Tygerberg Children's Choir, 30th anniversary re-union choir (Tygerberg Children's Choir, 2005 ) 


Sinfonia africana for soprano, choir and orchestra. Lesley Dunner/Sabina Mossolow, soprano, Stellenbosch University Choir, Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, 2005) 


Uqongqot'hwane; Die Dans van die Reën. André van der Merwe/Stellenbosch University Choir (Stellenbosch University Choir, 2005)


Die Dans van die Reën. Gérard'd du Toit /KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir. (KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir, 2005)


Hodie Christus natus est (version forfor treble choir), Thula babana. André van der Merwe/Stellenberg Girls Choir (Stellenberg Girls Choir,  2005)


Tango dal balletto Alice. I Grandi Violoncellisti (Cello Classics: CC1019, 2006) 


Sonata per corno e pianoforte. Shannon Armer,  horn, Sandra Kettle, piano (South African Horn Society, 2006)


Pie Jesu. Johann van der Sandt/ Singkronies Choir (Prospect Tonstudio: Gema 00174, 2006) 


Super flumina Babylonis. Johann van der Sandt/University of Pretoria Camerata (Prospect Tonstudio: Gema 00175, 2006)


Lieder: Of Innocence and experience; Tre liriche in stile antico; Tre canzoni; en skielik is dit aand; Die stil avontuur; Vier gebede by jaargetye in die Boland. Zanne Stapelberg, soprano, André Howard, baritone, Hendrik Hofmeyr, piano. (CDExpress, 2007)


Notturno elegiaco. Trio Hemanay (Classic FM: HEM01, 2007) 

Die Dans van die Reën. Andrea Martinjak/Ljubljanski Madrigalisti (Sazas, 2007)

Desert Sun. Maris Sirmais/Kam˙r… (Kam˙r…, 2008) 


(Last updated on July 26, 2008)

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