Kosviner, David

Kosviner was born and went to school in Johannesburg before studying as an undergraduate and postgraduate at the University of Cape Town from 1975 onwards. In 1983, he attended composition seminars with Morton Feldman in Johannesburg, and in 1984 he was a participant (with a partial stipend) at the International Vacation Courses for New Music in Darmstadt. In the same year, he began studies with Helmut Lachenmann at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, graduating there in 1989. He thereafter pursued doctoral studies with George Nicholson and Mike Vaughan at Keele University. 


In 1978, Kosviner co-founded and conducted the Orion Chamber Orchestra in Cape Town, and in 1981 was co-founder of Obelisk, a group for new music, in Pretoria. He played percussion in the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, taught part-time at the University of Cape Town in the early 1980s, and taught percussion, composition and music history variously in Bremen and Stuttgart in the early 1990s. He today lives and works in Stuttgart. 


Kosviner has enjoyed numerous commissions and performances in Germany (South West German Radio, Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Choir), South Africa (Southern African Music Rights Organization, South African Broadcasting Corporation), England (British Broadcasting Corporation, Society for the Promotion of New Music), North America (Kronos Quartet), South East Asia, Australia and Japan. Prizes and awards he has won include 2nd prize in the Stroud Festival International Composers’ Competition in 1982 (for ...furG...), and a prize in the composition competition (for choir) of the 4th “Tonkünstlerfest Baden-Württemberg” in 1995 (for [zal]). 




Botosani for large orchestra (1984/85) 


ló-yisá for orchestra (1993/94) 


first performance by the Junge Süddeutsche Philharmonie Esslingen conducted by Bernhard Güller 


ha’azinah for flute d’amore in Bb and orchestra (1997/98). Commissioned by the South West German Radio, first performance by Peter Rijkx and the South West German Radio Orchestra Stuttgart conducted by Fabrice Bollon.


Chamber Music: 

...furG... for flute and pianoforte (1981/82) 


awared 2nd prize in the 1982 Stroud Festival Composers’ Competition 


Ciascun apra ben gli orecchi for string quartet (1982/83) 


First performance by the Enesco Quartet during the 1983 Grahamstown Festival, subsequently performed by the Kronos Quartet in San Francisco 


Tocamiento for harpsichord and five instruments (1984/85) 


Hamba Kahle for trombone, viola and violoncello (1988) 


For Nancy Ruffer for flute, violoncello and pianoforte (1989) 


Deciso for piano quartet (1989) 


Trio 1992 for a flautist, a clarinetist and a pianist. First performed by Het Trio (Harrie Starreveld, flutes; Harry Sparnaay, clarinets and René Eckhardt, pianoforte) at a SPNM Regional Day in Liverpool. 


Mayibuye for string quartet (1992/96/97). Premiered in 1997 at the BBC/SPNM Composers’ Platform in Manchester 


Brass Quintet (1995). Commissioned by the Foundation for the Creative Arts for the Solid Brass Quintet (Cape Town) 


Sextet for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, violin, violoncello and double bass (2001, rev. 2002). Commissioned by the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra and premiered by members of the orchestra


Solo Works: 

Tonal Implications for pianoforte (1983) 


Worksong for pianoforte (1988). Commissioned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation and premiered by Jill Richards 


...en verdwyn met die sypaadjie... for violin (1988) 


Patchwork – a passacaglia for organ (1983). Commissioned by the Cape Organ Guild for the 5th Oude Meester Festival 


Ogni pensiero vola for organ (1988) 


bayóm hahóo for organ (1993). Commissioned by the Diakonissenkirche in Stuttgart for the FESTWOCHE NEUE ORGEL IN DER DIAKONISSENKIRCHE and premiered by Markus Leidenberger 


Richiesta III for treble recorder (1994). Composed at the request of John Turner, who premiered it in Manchester (score published by Forsyth Brothers, Manchester) 


Richiesta IV for bass flugelhorn (1996). Composed at the request of Mike Svoboda.



Sea and Sand for violin, pianoforte and string ensemble (1990) 


commissioned by the “Tage für Neue Musik Stuttgart 1990” and premiered by Ulrike-Anima Mathé (violin), Scott Faigen (pianoforte) and the Koechlin Ensemble conducted by Frieder Bernius 


Worksong II – a concerto for pianoforte and ensemble (1994). Commissioned by the Southern African Music Rights Organization for the pianist Jill Richards who premiered it in Pretoria with the New Arts Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Scarr.


Vocal and Choral Works: 

[zal] for 16 voices in four groups (1991/92) 


commissioned by the Foundation for the Creative Arts (South Africa) and first performed by the Stuttgart Chamber Choir conducted by Frieder Bernius 


La Balada del Agua del Mar for chamber choir (16 voices) (1993) commissioned by ”Musik der Jahrhunderte“ Stuttgart and first performed by the “Neue Vocalsolisten” conducted by Manfred Schreier 


Dein Leib im Rauch durch die Luft for eight female voices (1995). Commissioned and premiered by the Waiblingen Vocal Ensemble conducted by Michael Alber

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences