Composer-in-Residence 2019

Hans Roosenschoon (b.1952) 

The Dutch born composerHans Roosenschoon studied music in South Africa, and in England: Division V (Composition), Royal Academy of Music, London, 1978; MMus (Composition) cum laude, Stellenbosch University, 1989; DMus (Composition), University of Cape Town, 1991.

To date, Roosenschoon has completed about 120 works: The symphonic genre - some with choir and soloists - captured most of his attention, followed by choral works, chamber music, works for piano, and electro-accoustic pieces. Many of these were commissioned by prominent commissioning entities in South Africa, and were written for special occasions. Apart from many performances throughout the country, his music has been performed and broadcast in the USA, in several West- and East European countries, Scandinavia, Australia, Brazil and in the UK. His discography includes recordings for the SABC’s transcription service, as well as a variety of commercial recordings.

Roosenschoon has also made an important contribution to cultural life in other areas:

As a broadcaster and music producer, as an arts administrator and promoter of South African music, as an adjudicator at national competitions, and, for some time, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO).

In 2004 Roosenschoon was visiting professor in composition at the Mozarteum University, Salzburg, and in 2007 he presented seminars on his music at the universities of Bristol and York in the UK. In November 2009, he presented a Keynote address at the conference Music and Migration organized by the New Zealand Musicological Society, held at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. In 2013 he presented a seminar on his music at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands.

From 1998 – 2006 Professor Roosenschoon was the Chair in the Department of Music, and director of the Conservatoire at Stellenbosch University. Since 2008 he headed the Composition specialist direction, and since the end of 2017, he is Emeritus Professor in Music at Stellenbosch University.

Hans Roosenschoon’s involvement with the indigenous music of Southern Africa, including music by the Cape Malay, started with Makietie in 1978. Theafter, several works in this so-called 'African inspired' style were realised. Timbila, composed in 1985, is perhaps among the most significant cross-cultural compositions to have emerged from South Africa, combining a group of traditional marimba players from the Chopi people of Mozambique with a Western symphony orchestra. However, it is not only with Timbila that the composer confirmed his continuing interest in indigenous music as a creative impulse. He has also drawn from other diverse sources, resulting in collage-like pieces that are typically eclectic in character.

Roosenschoon views background, middle ground and foreground as important structural principles in his music. That is to say that he thinks of his music as a three-dimensional sound object. Material which happens to be in the foreground could take on other functions such as background or middle ground. These dimensions can evolve in succession or simultaneously. A quote from an existing piece of music is often presented in this way: its origin is either a mystery, or partly recognisable, or absolutely clear.

For more details please visit his website.