Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph

(b. 9 July 1948, Pretoria).

South African composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and piano works that have been performed in Africa, Europe and North America.

Prof. Zaidel-Rudolph studied piano privately with Adolph Hallis, Philip Levy and Goldie Zaidel as a child and studied with John Lill at the Royal College of Music in London, where she earned four performance degrees with distinction. She later studied composition with György Ligeti in Hamburg in 1974 and with Stefans Grové at the Universiteit van Pretoria, where she earned her doctorate in 1979.

Among her honours are First Prize in the competition of Total S. A. (1986, for Tempus Fugit), a commission for the Olympic Games in Atlanta (1996, Oratorio for Human Rights) and a commission for the doctoral ceremony of Nelson Mandela (1997, He Walked to Freedom).

She has taught at the Universiteit van die Witwatersrand in Johannesburg since 1975, initially as Senior Lecturer and later as Professor of Composition and chair of the department of music. She has lectured on indigenous music from Africa in Europe and the USA.





A Rage in a Cage (rock opera), soloists, mixed chorus, rock band, 1983

AbantubomlamboThe River People (ballet), orchestra, 1987


Concert Overture, 1979

Five Hasidic Melodies, youth orchestra, 1981

Construction Symphony, youth orchestra, 1985

Fanfare Festival Overture, 1985

Tempus Fugit, 1986

At the End of the Rainbow (symphonic poem), youth orchestra, 1988

Sefirot Symphony, 1991


Kaleidoscope, flute (+ alto flute, piccolo), oboe (+ English horn), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), alto saxophone, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, 2 percussion, 1971

Canonetta for Four, trumpet, viola, cello, vibraphone, 1973

Reaction, cello, piano, percussion, 1973

Tango for Tim, guitar, 1973

Chamber Concerto, 11 players, 1979

The Fugue that Flew Away, flute, piano, 1979

Three Hasidic Pieces, flute, violin, piano, 1982

Four Minim, cello, piano, 1982, revised 1992

And All that Jazz, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1983

Margana, flute, violin, cello, 2 percussion, 1985

Masada, bassoon, string quartet, 1989

Five African Sketches, guitar, 1991

Suite Afrique, cello, piano, 1993 (also version for viola, piano, 1995)


Dialogue of Self and Soul (text by William Butler Yeats), 8 soloists, speaking chorus, 1971

Swaziland National Anthem, mixed chorus, piano, 1974

Boy on a Swing (text by Oswald Mtshali), female chorus, piano, percussion, 1983 (also version for soprano, piano)

It's a Woman's World, mixed chorus, piano, 1984

Peace (text by the composer), mixed chorus, guitar, 1991 (also version as Ukuthula, soprano, mezzo-soprano, orchestra [also version for soprano, mezzo-soprano, piano])

Oratorio for Human Rights, soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, 3 percussion from Africa, orchestra, 1996

Lifecycle, female chorus of Ngqoko people, ensemble from Africa (calabash bows, mouth bows, friction bow, friction drum, double-sided drum), Western ensemble (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, 2 violins, cello, double bass, marimba, percussion), 2003


Setting Afrikaans Poems to Music (text by W. E. G. Louw), soprano, piano, 1968

Five Pieces, soprano, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 1971

Song-Cycle, baritone, piano, 1976

Back to Basics, speaker, piano, prepared piano, 1983

Boy on a Swing, soprano, piano, 1992 (version of choral work)

Hell Well Heaven (text by Wally Serote), soprano, piano, 1992

Ukuthula, soprano, mezzo-soprano, orchestra, 1993 (version of Peace; also version for soprano, mezzo-soprano, piano, 1993)

He Walked to Freedom, voice, piano, 1997


Sonata No. 1, 1969

Seven Variations on an Original Theme, 1971

Three Dimensions, 1974

Virtuoso I, 1987

Mixed Feelings for Sara, 1988

Mosaic, 1989

Awaiting Game, 1993

The Juggler and the King, 2 pianos, 1998

'5 6 7 8', 2001


Ebony and Ivory, 2001


An African Dream, 1988 (Nody Murphy)


South African National Anthem, voice, orchestra, 1995 (also version for voice, piano, 1995)


AbantubomlamboThe River People. (EMI Classics: L4 BCP 1832, 1987)

Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph. (EMI Classics: EMCJ [A] 4061831, 1988) (cassette)

Sefirot Symphony; At the End of the Rainbow; Four Minim; Virtuoso I. (SABC, 1990)

Fanfare Festival Overture; Tempus Fugit; Kaleidoscope; Masada; Five African Sketches; Sonata No. 1. (SABC, 1990)

Tempus Fugit. (Claremont, 1991)

Four Minim. (SABC, 1992)

Songs of Hallel. (EMI Classics, 1993)

Three Dimensions. (Obelisklive, 1993) (cassette)

Fanfare Festival Overture; Sefirot Symphony; Virtuoso I; At the End of the Rainbow; Masada; Tempus Fugit. (Claremont: GSE 1532, 1994)

CelebrationTriumph of a Nation. (EMI Classics, 1994)

Suite Afrique (second version). (Obelisklive, 1995) (cassette)

Sonata No. 1. (Obelisklive, 1998) (cassette)

Celebration 2. (EMI Classics, 2002)