D MUS, D Ed (Hon UP), FTCL, LTCL, LRSM, UPLM.
Prof Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph was the first woman in South Africa to obtain a DMUS (Composition) - (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 produce 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”. An Honorary Doctorate in Education (DEd) was conferred on her by the University of Pretoria in 2008. In March, 2018, her work, Masada was performed in Padua, Italy, by the world-renowned orchestra, I Veneti Solisti. A recent highlight was a performance of her winning work, “Oratorio for Human Rights” in Rome, Italy in November, 2018 - at the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights Gala Concert at which she was a guest. Jeanne is past Professor of Composition and is presently Honorary Research and Emeritus Professor in the Wits School of Arts, Music Division.
For String Quartet and Percussion
As the tête-à-tête in the title suggests this is a conversation between two entities – between the String Quartet as a group and the percussionist – though in essence there are 5 instruments (Quintet) comprising the Ensemble. It begins in tête-à-tête character as an intimate chat, but becomes quite intense eventually, even erupting into a fiery argument. Granulated repeated pedal points in the marimba, taken over in the lower strings lend an air of sustained stability to the texture. Though played by one percussionist, the array of percussion instruments required in the piece creates different timbres and contrasting colours and is very demanding on the performer. A brief Reprise leads into a quasi-indigenous section with rhythmic aggregates of 2s and 3s. This leads into a ‘tagged-on’ Coda bringing back the persistent rising Triplet figure and interlocking polyrhythms.