MEYER, Renier Jacobus (Jaco)
b. Rustenburg, 1988
Renier Jacobus (Jaco) Meyer was born on 27 March 1988 in Rustenburg where he received his first music training in Piano and Music Theory with his teachers Mrs. Debbie Mostert (piano and organ), Mrs. Louise Vermaak (piano and theory), Dr. Martin Ryan (piano) and Mrs. Renate Nel (pipe organ). During his final year at Hoërskool Rustenburg, he decided not to study anatomy and medicine and he enrolled for a B.Mus. degree at the School of Music and Conservatory of the North-West University Potchefstroom Campus instead. He continued his studies in piano with Mr. Waldo Weyer and started violoncello with Dr. Human Coetzee. Since his first year of study he followed composition lessons with composer Hannes Taljaard. He completed his B.Mus. degree, specializing in Music Composition and Music Theory with additional qualifications in Psychology, Statistics and German.
During his first year of bachelor studies he proposed and co-founded the Young Composers Concert which has become a prestigious annual music concert at the North-West University where young, talented composers' compositions are performed. His lessons in composition also include sessions with internationally renowned composers such as Robert Fokkens, Michael Pelzel, Lucas Ligeti, Stefans Grové and Clare Loveday. He also developed much interest in music research and was one of the first student presenters at the 2010 international ISM-SASRIM congress held in Stellenbosch.
Jaco received bursaries from the North-West University (NWU), the South African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) and the National Research Fund (NRF) to continue with post-graduate studies. He enrolled for a Masters in Music Composition degree at the NWU which was awarded to him cum laude two years later. This post-graduate degree consisted of a portfolio of compositions and a research dissertation in which he investigated principles of orchestration through an understanding of musical gestures and musical forces.
It was during his post-graduate studies that he befriended the well-known conceptual and word artist, Willem Boshoff. The artworks of Willem Boshoff provided a conceptual framework for Meyer and an entire section of his portfolio was dedicated to music based on "translated" artworks by Boshoff (see Fünf Skizzen nach Kunstwerke von Willem Boshoff). This composition led to further research opportunities in music and visual art as well as further collaborations between Meyer and Boshoff.
Meyer also received several commissions which include theme music for DEKAT-TV (broadcasted on KykNet since 2011), chorale preludes for the South African Church Organists Society (SAKOV) publications, solo flute composition for György Sándor Fazakas, a solo piano composition for Rachelle Elmes-Wessels and a SAMRO commission for a solo violoncello composition for Human Coetzee. During an interview with Stefans Grové, Grové gave Meyer a short theme that represented his own name (Stefans) and Meyer composed a solo organ composition based on this theme for the 90th birthday of Grové. This work by Meyer was, among others, performed by Ockie Vermeulen at the South African Music Concert held by the NWU and SAMRO.
Meyer's compositions have been received very positively at many local and international concerts. The Swiss composer, Michael Pelzel, described his compositions as “very colourful and expressive ideas that are harmonically and formally well-structured”. The British violinst, Jonathan Truscott from the Bergersen String Quartet, referred to Meyer's compositions as "moving music". Meyer is known to work very closely with performers and exploring the possibilities of musical instruments.
On the academic side, his research on Musicology and Ethnomusicology is often presented at both national and international conferences which include the South African Society for Research in Music (SASRIM), the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) and the Pan African Society for Music and Arts Education (PASMAE). He was also the editor of a SAKOV publication, Nuusbrief, and wrote a music article series for the DEKAT magazine.
Meyer started a project where he collects compositions by South African composers and this collection will be added to the existing Information Center for South African Music collection at the music library of the NWU School of Music and Conservatory. He currently resides with his wife in Johannesburg and is actively busy with composition, research and a private collection of South African art.
Spleen, four songs for Soprano and String Quartet (Opus 1)
...jy die pad..., song cycle for Soprano, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano – Ingrid Jonker (Opus 2)
...jy die pad..., song cycle for Tenor, Violin, Violoncello and Piano – Ingrid Jonker (Opus 2)
written for the Chamber Music Company of London
Een Zoon is ons gegeven, for SATB – Jesaja 9:5 (Opus 6)
written for the Groesbeeks Gemengd Koor
Verwerkings van Korale uit die Liedboek van die Kerk, for Children Choir, Female Choir and Organ (Opus 16)
commissioned by SAKOV
Deo Optimo Maximo, for Soprano solo and SATB (Opus 17)
written for Rina Hugo
Deo Optimo Maximo, for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Violin, Viola and Violincello (Opus 17)
written for Rina Hugo
8 Korale, for Congregation and Organ (Opus 19)
Psalm 23, for SATB – Direkte Afrikaanse Vertaling van die Bybel (Opus 22)
Suite for Piano and Cello I, for Violoncello and Piano (Opus 7)
written for and dedicated to Human Coetzee
Suite for Piano and Cello II, for Violoncelo and Piano (Opus 8)
commissioned by Human Coetzee and Andrew Munro
dedicated to Fébé Bruyns (Meyer)
A Portolio of Mirrors, for solo Violoncello (Opus 18)
commissioned by SAMRO
Visions d'esquisses par temps de neige, for solo Flute (Opus 5)
commissioned by György Sándor Fazakas
12 Diskante vir Liedere uit die Liedboek van die kerk, for Flute and Organ (Opus 14)
Une dédicace musicale, for solo flute
written for Michelle Swart
Du bist mein Herzschlag, for solo Piano (Opus 3)
commissioned by Rachelle Elmes-Wessels
dedicated to Fébé Meyer
Du bist mein schönster Traum, for solo Piano (Opus 9)
dedicated to Fébé Meyer
Fünf Skizzen nach Kunstwerke von Willem Boshoff, for String Quartet and Woodwind Quartet (Opus 10)
dedicated to Willem Boshoff
in memory of Kobus van Zyl Geldenhuys
Permutationen, for Percussion and String Quartet (Opus 10)
written for Composers National Collegium Workshop
A witch's tale, for Alto Saxophone and Guitar (Opus 21)
commissioned by NWU
written for Duo Montagnard (Joe Murphy and Matthew Slotkin)
A witch's tale, for Clarinet and Guitar (Opus 21)
Vyf Koraalvoorspele, for solo organ (Opus 4)
dedicated to Daleen Kruger
Stefans Grové 90 Jubileum, for solo Organ (Opus 11)
dedicated to Stefans Grové
8 Korale, for solo organ (Opus 19)
Ananke, for large Orchestra (Opus 12)