Prof Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph was the first woman to obtain a DMUS (Composition) in South Africa – (University of Pretoria, 1979), having obtained her Master’s degree in Composition cum laude. She pursued postgraduate composition studies at the Royal College of Music, London and later under the renowned composer György Ligeti in Hamburg. In 1986 she was awarded First Prize in the TOTAL OIL SA Competition for composers. 

Her compositions have been regularly commissioned by SABC, UNISA and SAMRO. Her works number over 80, covering diverse genres. Several CDs of her works have been produced. In February 1995, Jeanne was invited by the Minister of Arts and Culture to contribute to the new composite version of the South African National Anthem – the official version used today. 

In October, 2004 President Thabo Mbeki presented Jeanne with the Order of Ikhamanga for her “excellent contribution to music nationally and internationally”. In 2008 Jeanne was called to serve as a Director on the Board of SA Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO). An Honorary Doctorate in Education (DEd) was conferred by the University of Pretoria in 2008. In 2010, Pendulum for Piano and Orchestra had its world premiere to great acclaim with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Malcolm Nay as soloist. Jeanne is past Professor of Composition and is Honorary Research Professor and Professor Emeritus in the Wits School of Arts, Music Division. 

To learn more about this Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph visit her website.

Works in the archive