HOFMEYR , Zanta
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Zanta Hofmeyr graduated from The Juilliard School of Music in New York where she was a student of Dorothy Delay and Hyo Kang. She is one of South Africa’s most renowned violinists. In April 2011 she was nominated as ‘Best female performer’ at the KKNK National Arts Festival and her CD CANTILENA was nominated for a SAMA award in the category ‘Best popular classical album’. (South African Music Awards)
Born and raised in South Africa as the eldest of eight children, she studied violin with Vincent Frittelli until she left for the United States at the age of 17. Her first concerto appearance with orchestra was at age 14 in a performance of the Wieniawski Concerto in d minor. During that time her chamber music mentors were Betty Pack and Allan Solomon.
After graduating from Juilliard, she gave her New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as a winner of the Artists International Competition. Since her return from the United States in 1985, she has been a prolific performer and teacher in South Africa and abroad. She has on a number of occasions appeared as guest artist and teacher at the Kinhaven Chamber Music Festival in Vermont in the United States.
She has regular appearances as soloist with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) as well as other symphony orchestras in South Africa, performing concerti by Beethoven, Bruch, Barber, Khachaturian, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Wieniawski. A strong proponent of new compositions, she gave the South African premiere of “Raptus” by Hendrik Hofmeyr with the CPO in 2002 and in 2005 with the JPO. In 2007 she gave the first South African performance of Hendrik Hofmeyr’s “Nelle mani d’Amduscias” for solo violin in Johannesburg. In 2009 she received high critical acclaim from critics for her performance of the Britten violin concerto with the JPO and Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO).
She includes a lot of chamber music in her concert schedule. In 2010 she performed the Bach Goldberg Variations (string trio version) with the newly-formed Trio Goldberg. As a member of the Musaion Piano Trio, she toured extensively in South Africa and the Netherlands in 2004. She has also been on the faculty of the International Chamber Music Festival at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2011 she will take part in performances of the Beethoven Opus18 string quartet cycle as leader of the Goldberg String Quartet.
From her extensive recital repertoire her performances with pianist Malcolm Nay of the 10 Beethoven violin sonatas and all-Brahms and Prokofiev recital programmes stand out as particular highlights. They performed the three Grieg sonatas at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival (2007) as part of the centenary celebrations of Grieg’s death.
In 2008 Zanta collaborated with SAMRO on a commission to Hendrik Hofmeyr to write his first sonata for violin and piano. Zanta and Malcolm gave the premiere performance of the work in October 2008 at the Aardklop Arts Festival in Potchefstroom. In 2010 she and organist Wim Viljoen performed the premiere of a new sonata for violin and organ by the British composer Richard Pantcheff. Recent performances include a recital in the Teatro Manoel in Valletta, Malta together with pianist Elna van der Merwe, and musicians from Malta.
She has collaborated with some of the foremost jazz musicians in South Africa such as Denzil Wheal, Surrendran Reddy, Wessel van Rensburg, Mark Duby, Denis Lalouette and Rob Watson. She often performs with pianist Charl du plessis in the very popular programme called “Beethoven Tango”.
Zanta is committed to supporting young talent. In 2000 she helped establish the Dithaga Music Project in Ga-Rankuwa. In 2010 she assisted the MIAGI youth orchestra as string coach as well as the Sinfonia Juventi orchestra. From 2000, she held the chair of associate professor of violin at the University of Pretoria for five and a half years, whereafter she resigned in order to balance her concert and teaching careers better. She currently teaches at the University of Pretoria as well as the University of the Witwatersrand in a part-time capacity.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, scholarships and bursaries. She was awarded a Rapport/City Press “Woman of the Year” award (2004) and the ATKV “Afrikoon” award (2005).
Zanta loves roses and was particularly honoured when Ludwig Tassner presented her with a new “Zanta Hofmeyr” rose in 2003.
Her recordings include CANTILENA and Zanta Hofmeyr plays Arioso with organist Wim Viljoen, Romantic Violin with pianist Malcolm Nay and Beethoven Tango with pianist Charl du Plessis.