Stefans Grové's Glimpses to be Performed at Hong Kong, 2007
Last year, the local jury of NewMusicSA submitted scores by three South African composers to the International Jury for the ISCM World Music Days 2007. I am pleased to announce that the International Jury has now has chosen ‘Five Glimpses’ for Piano by Stefans Grové to be performed at this year’s festival in Hong Kong in November. They will be played by the Polish pianist Zygmunt Krauze. Stefans Grové celebrates his 85th birthday on 23 July this year; and it is also 55 years since he had a work performed at the World Music Days. I am sure that you will all join us in congratulating him.
Stefans Grové (*1922)
Glimpses. Five Miniatures for Piano (2004)
Music from Africa no 28
- The Limping Lion
- The Meditating Butterfly
- Configurations of the Dragonfly
- The Serene Sea Horse
- The Masked Weaver’s Masquerade
These miniatures involve the family of the composer. When once asked by someone how they view themselves in terms of the animal and insect world, they replied that their father should be a lion on account of his astrological chart. His wife Alison saw herself as a butterfly, their three children Christopher, Chloé and Kara as a dragonfly, a sea horse and a masked weaver respectively. To add humour to these Charakterstücke, the composer has placed a thorn in the lion’s front paw, causing it to limp.
Glimpses were commissioned by the University of Pretoria to be performed as an interlude in a concert featuring Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals.
Stefans Grové was born in Bethlehem in the Free State in South Africa in 1922. He studied at the University of Cape Town and was the first South African to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States. He then studied with Walter Piston at Harvard and with Aaron Copland at Tanglewood. In 1952, his Three Pieces for Piano were performed at the ISCM World Music Days in Salzburg (his first and only ISCM performance until 2007). From 1957 to 1972, Grové taught at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He then returned to South Africa and taught for thirty years at the University of Pretoria until being appointed its Composer in Residence in 2003. Grové was one of the first African composers to engage with indigenous African music in a manner that went beyond mere couleur locale to forge a creative synthesis of the Western and the African.