David Kosviner

(b. 2 December 1957, Johannesburg).

South African composer, now resident in Germany, of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed in Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America.

Mr. Kosviner studied with Peter Klatzow, James May and Stuart Reiner at the Universiteit van Kaapstad – University of Cape Town from 1975–78 and from 1981–86, where he graduated with his BMus and MMus with distinction. He attended seminars with Morton Feldman in 1983 and studied composition with Helmut Lachenmann at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Stuttgart from 1984–88 and with George Nicholson at Keele University from 1991–95, where he earned his PhD.

Among his honours are Second Prize in the competition of the Stroud Festival in the UK (1982, for ...furG...), semi-finalist in the Irino Prize for chamber music in Tōkyō (1993, for Trio 1992) and selection for performance in the choral competition of the Tonkünstlerfest Baden-Württemberg (1995–96, for [zal]).

He is also active in other positions. He co-founded the ensemble for contemporary music Obelisk in Pretoria in 1981. He performed as a percussionist in the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and the orchestra of Cape Town City Ballet from 1981–83 and as an extra player in the Staatsorchester Stuttgart in the mid-1990s.

He taught arrangement, composition and orchestration at the Universiteit van Kaapstad from 1981–83. He later taught as a tutor in the studio for electronic music of the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Stuttgart from 1987–98 and lectured on composition at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen from 1990–94. He has taught composition, music history and percussion at the Freie Musikschule Stuttgart since 1991.

He has lived in Germany since 1984.


E-mail address:


SELECT LIST OF WORKS (dates unavailable for some works)


-Yisá, large orchestra, 1993–94

Worksong II (concerto), piano, small orchestra (15 players), 1994

ha'azinah, B-flat flûte d'amour, orchestra, 1997–98

Botoşani, large orchestra


...furG..., flute, piano, 1981

Trio 1992, flute (+ piccolo, alto flute), clarinet (+ bass clarinet, E-flat clarinet ad libitum), piano, 1992

Richiesta III, soprano recorder, 1994

Brass Quintet, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1995

Richiesta IV, bass flügelhorn (with quarter-tone valve), 1996

Mayibuye, string quartet, 1992–97

Sextet, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, violin, cello, double bass, 2001, revised 2002

Ciascun apra ben gli orecchi, string quartet

Deciso, violin, viola, cello, piano

...en verdwyn met die sypaadjie, violin

For Nancy Ruffer, flute, cello, piano

Hamba Kahle, trombone, viola, cello

Ngoku sifikile, organ, marimba

Sea and Sand, violin, piano, ensemble (4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 2 double basses)

Tocamiento, oboe, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, harpsichord


[zal] (text from the name "Morton Feldman"), mixed chorus in 4 groups (16 total voices), 1991–92

La Balada del Agua del Mar (text by Federico García Lorca), 16 mixed voices, 1992–93

Dein Leib im Rauch durch die Luft (text by Nelly Sachs), 8 female voices, 1995


Liederzyklus (text by Markus Hille), mezzo-soprano, tenor, piano


Worksong I, 1988

Tonal Implications


bayóm hahóoh, 1993