Hendrik Hofmeyr

Hendrik Hofmeyr was born in Cape Town in 1957. He graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Master of Music degree before leaving for Italy on an overseas scholarship in 1981. During ten years of self-imposed exile as a conscientious objector, he obtained Italian State diplomas in composition, piano and conducting, while working as a vocal coach and accompanist. His first opera “Il principe Barbablù” was produced at the Stia Music Festival in 1986. In 1987, he won the South African Opera Competition with “The Fall of the House of Usher”. When the opera was produced at the State Theatre in Pretoria the following year, he was awarded the annual Nederburg Prize for Opera. In the same year, he obtained first prize in the Trento Cinema 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. He obtained first prize in the 1995 Unisa-Transnet Composition Competition, and 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). In 1998 Hofmeyr rejoined his alma mater, where he currently holds the post of associate professor. He obtained a Doctorate in Music from the same institute in 1999. Hofmeyr's “Incantesimo” for flute was selected to represent South Africa at the World Music Days of the International Society for Contemporary Music in Croatia in 2005, and in 2008 he received a Kanna Award from the Kleinkaroo National Arts Festival. He received the UCT Creative Arts Award for his Second Symphony “The Elements” in 2018. Hofmeyr’s oeuvre of more than 200 works includes six operas, two ballets, two symphonies, eleven concerti and numerous choral, vocal and instrumental works, of which some 130 are commissions.

August 2021