was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1957. As a schoolboy he learned to play the piano, organ, clarinet and most brass instruments, and dabbled in the cello for a while.
He studied at the University of Cape Town from 1976 to 1979 and graduated with the Bachelor of Music degree. During this time he was organ scholar at St. George’s Cathedral (Anglican) with its marvellous Hill organ. Thereafter he was solo clarinettist in the band of the South African Police for four years, this being alternative military service; 2 years as a schoolteacher in Cape Town with concurrent further study followed; he graduated with the degree Master of Music in composition at the end of 1985.
Two scholarships enabled him to travel to Vienna in 1986, where he was was enrolled at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst as a composition student of Francis Burt and an organ student of Martin Haselböck. In October of that year he moved to Lübeck, where Martin Haselböck had taken up a Professorship, and completed his Konzertexamen at the beginning of 1988, followed by the “B” and “A” church music diplomas in 1992 and 1994. During these years he was also professionally active in Kiel (Schleswig-Holstein), where he was initially assistant to Prof. Hans Gebhard at the city centre church of St. Nikolai and later Kantor and Organist of the Osterkirche.
Almost immediately thereafter he was appointed as Organist and choral director of Magdeburg Cathedral, and began work there in August 1994. He has a busy schedule as recitalist in Germany and abroad. From 2003 until 2006 2003 he was also lecturer in organ at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig. In November 2004 he was awarded the honorary title of Kirchenmusikdirektor.
- auf Deutsch
These biographies shouldn’t be too long, in my view, or contain lists of all the people one has ever been to a one-day class with, or places one has ever played in. ( This causes those who try to use such things for programme notes endless trouble.) But mine is probably too short, and concentrates (naturally) on the names that are well-known, thus omitting many of those who profoundly influenced my development as a musician, in South Africa particularly.
Those without whom I would never have become what I have include:
Peter Klatzow, Shirley Gie, Barry Smith, Lily Stroux, Manfred Fock, Susanne Gülzow
and those whom I would not presume to claim as teachers but with whom I had the good fortune to be able to work for a few days, a week, a month or more:
Gillian Weir, Arnold van Wyk, Morton Feldman, Harald Vogel.
I am very grateful to all of them.