Peter Klatzow was born in Springs,
South Africa, in 1945. In  1964 he attended the Royal College of
Music in London, where he studied composition with Bernard Stevens, piano with
Kathleen Long, and orchestration with Gordon Jacob.  In that year he won
several of the College composition prizes as well as the Royal Philharmonic
prize for composition, which was open to any Commonwealth composer under
30.  He spent the following years in Italy and Paris, where he studied
with Nadia Boulanger.

Since returning to South Africa in 1966, he has
worked at the SABC in Johannesburg as a music producer, and in 1973 was
appointed to the University of Cape Town, where he was

Director of the College of Music and
Professor in Composition.    In 1986 he was elected to the rank
of Fellow of the University of Cape Town for “having performed original
distinguished academic work of such quality as to merit special recognition.”

He was awarded his DMus for published work in
Composition in 1999, and the Cape Tercentenary Foundation’s  Molteno
Gold  medal for lifetime achievement in  Music in 2002.

One of the few South African composers to achieve
international recognition, Peter Klatzow has won prizes in Spain, the United
Kingdom and Toronto, and his works have been performed in various European
centres and in the United States. In South Africa he was awarded the
prestigious Helgard Steyn prize for his piano suite From the Poets.


His major works include a full length ballet
on Hamlet for which he was given a special Nederburg award for the
music, scores for ballets on Drie Diere  and Vier Gebede, and
Concertos for various solo instruments; piano, clarinet, organ, marimba, and a
double Concerto for flute and marimba which was  performed at Yale
University, USA.  His SAMRO commissioned Prayers and Dances of Praise
from Africa was  introduced at the Three Choirs Festival, Worcester,
UK.  on 24 August 1996


Recent commissions include The World of Paul
Klee (III), composed for the opening of the new Paul Klee Centre in Berne,
Switzerland, a celebratory Te Deum for choir, organ and orchestra,
commissioned for a special service celebrating the 100th anniversary of St
George’s Cathedral, Cape Town and Towards the Light, a work for double
choir, marimba and organ commissioned for the opening of the new Peabody
concert hall (USA) in April 2004. He was also commissioned by the University of
Cape Town to provide a short (20 minute) opera for the celebration of the 100th anniversary
of the South African College of Music. He was also commissioned by SAMRO to
compose a setting of Thabo Mbeki’s speech “I am an African” for use in the
international vocal scholarship competition in September 2011. That same year
year he also attended a major festival of his marimba works in Tokyo, where he
also lectured at the Tokyo Music School and give master classes on his music.


His discography includes recordings of his piano
music, the Mass for Choir, Horn, Marimba and Strings, String Quartet, Chamber Concerto
for 7, Piano Concerto, From the Poets, an RCA issue of Return of
the Moon with the King’s Singers and Evelyn Glennie, and a CD of his
choral music made by the international Herald company entitled Towards the
Light – the choral music of Peter Klatzow.  His Marimba concerto
has been reissued in a new recording made by Markus Leoson and issued by the
Swedish label NOSAG in 2006. His CD entitled Myths, Magic and Marimbas –
the music of Peter Klatzow was also issued in July 2006.  He is now
retired from the University of Cape Town, where he remains and is a Professor
Emeritus. In 2011 the S A Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns awarded him the
Huberte Rupert music prize for his life time work.


Shortly after these performances Peter attended a major
international event  Peter Klatzow in the City which was held
for a week in Rotterdam, and featured his music for marimba. There were three
performances of his concerto for flute, marimba and strings with Tatiana Koleva
and Eleonore Palmeijr and they premiered his new work Night Sky with
Illuminations which was commissioned by the Eduard von Beinum Foundation
in Rotterdam.


In 2014 Peter Klatzow was once again
awarded the Helgaard Steyn prize (now worth R520000) for his work 
Lightscapes which was
commissioned for The World Marimba Festival in Stuttgart in 2012. He was also
been appointed Composer in Residence for the 2015 Johannesburg International
Mozart Festival.

If you would like to purchase any of
Peter Klatzow’s works contact him on 

Works in the archive