Klatzow, Peter


b. Springs, 14 July, 1945


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 Organisation (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.



Choral/Vocal Works:

Christ's Lament for Jerusalem (1987) 6'

Chorus, organ; written for choir of St Michael and All Angels, Observatory, Cape


Mass (1987) 20'

Choir, horn, marimba, strings; written for St George's Cathedral, Cape Town


Anthem: Praise the Lord O my soul (1989) 6'

Chorus, organ; written for St George's Cathedral, Cape Town


Songs of an Exile (1991) 25'

Texts Dennis Brutus; tenor, piano; commissioned by the Foundation for the Creative Arts


Three Carols (1994) 10'

SSA, Fl,Hp,Db.; written for Choir of Rustenburg Girls High School


Anthem: God Bless Africa (3')

Words by Father Trevor Huddlestone; SATB and organ, or marimba and strings


A Mass for Africa (1994) 20'

Sung in Xhosa, Greek, Latin, English; solo counter tenor, Baritone, Double chorus, horn, flute, 2 marimbas (4 players), strings; premièred at St George's Cathedral, Sunday before South African elections.


Prayers and Dances of Praise from Africa (1996) 14'

Words from An African Prayer Book compiled by Desmond Tutu; commissioned by SAMRO; SATB, brass quintet (optional) 


(1997) 15'

Words by Watson; commissioned by Evelyn Glennie and the King Singers;

male vocal ensemble, marimba


Instrumental Works:

From the Poets 28'

suite for solo piano; commissioned by SAMRO for the 1994 UNISA Transnet International Piano Competition; premièred by Anton Nel


String quartet no 2 (1988) 15'

Commissioned by SATV


Rain making with a bow string (3')

Solo harp; commissioned by SAMRO for UNISA Transnet as a test piece


Prelude and Toccata (1991) 8'

Two guitars


Murmurs of Tiger and Flame ( )

Solo piano


Violin Sonata (1994)

Violin, piano; commissioned by the University of Potchefstroom

premièred by Piet Koornhof, Jill Richards, 30.05.95 


Ambient Resonances (Echoes of Time and Place) (1994) 12'

Vibraphone, marimba; commissioned by RE:Percussions; premièred by RE:Percussion, St.Pauls Concert Hall, Huddersfield 


Concerto for piano and eight instruments (1995) 25'

Solo piano, fl/picc, hrn, tbne, synth, mba, vln, bass; premièred by Jill Richards at the Chisholm Room, University of Cape Town 17.10.95


Inyanga (1996) 3"

Solo marimba; commissioned by SAMRO for UNISA Transnet as a test piece


Theatre/Ballet Works:

Drie Diere (1978) 33'

Commissioned by Oude Libertas; premièred by CAPAB


Vespers (Vier gebede by Jaargetye in die Boland) (1984) 35';

premièred by CAPAB


Into 4 (1985)18'

Commissioned by SATV1 for choreography by Lindy Raizenberg


Hamlet (1992) Full evening.

Ballet in two acts; commissioned by Cabap with funds provided by Louisvale Wine Farmers; premièred at Nico Malan Theatre complex, Cape Town, 1992;

first London performance at Sadler's Wells by Cape Town Ballet 1994


Orchestral Works:

Concerto for organ and orchestra (1981) 20'

Commissioned by SABC; premièred by the National Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Cockburn organ, conductor Michael Charry


Incantations (1984) 10'

For large orchestra; commissioned by the SABC for the Standard Bank Festival of the Arts; premièred by SABC orchestra/ Othmar Maga.


Concerto for Clarinet and small orchestra (1985) 25'

solo clarinet, 2 horns, strings; commissioned by Prof. John Reid for his son Matthew


Concerto for Marimba (1985) 18'

Solo marimba and string orchestra; commissioned by Robert Van Sice

premièd by the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra


States of Light (1987) 15'

Chamber orchestra:1,1,1,1,1,1,1, pft, mba, vibes, strings; commissioned by Walter Mony for the TOTAL collection


A Chrysalis in Flames (1989) 10'

For large orchestra; commissioned by the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of their 75th anniversary


Double Concerto (1993) 20'

Flute, Marimba, strings; commissioned by the Foundation for the Creative Arts, Cape Town; premièred by Robert Van Sice, Leslie Shiells, Cape Town Symphony Orchestra


Tintinyane (1994) 15'

Narrator and small orchestra; based on an African story and especially directed towards children; commissioned y the Foundation for the Creative Arts, Johannesburg; premièred by the SABC Orchestra, Johannesburg


Citiscape (1986) 10'

For large orchestra; commissioned by the SABC



King Singers/Evelyn Glennie perform WATSON/KLATZOW "Return of the Moon"; on RCA Red Label. 


Klatzow: Various Works: "From the Poets", Violin Sonata; Concerto for Piano and 8 instruments; piano: Jill Richards, violin: Piet Koornhof 


Robert Van Sice: 3 Marimba Concertos: including Peter Klatzow Concerto for Marimba & String Orchestra; Etcetera Label

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