John Roos

John Roos

Deputy Director: Unisa Music Foundation
+27 (0)12 429 3344
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John Roos matriculated at the Rustenburg High School. He received his early music training at the Rustenburg Music Conservatoire studying piano with Ms Winnefred Ochse, Mr Derek Ochse, Mr Robert Clough and Prof Hennie Joubert. After completion of his military service in an infantry battalion, he enrolled for a BMus degree at the University of Pretoria. At this university’s Music Department he studied piano as main instrument with Prof Hennie Joubert and Mr Spruhan Kennedy. He also received cello tuition as second instrument from Prof Gerhard van de Geest. He obtained his BMus degree in 1967. Under the guidance of Prof David Roode he passed the Unisa Piano Teachers’ Licentiate Examination with distinction in 1968 when the Unisa Overseas Music Scholarship for Teachers (Piano) was awarded to him.

Before departing overseas he taught piano at the Pretoria Technikon as well as at the Rustenburg Music Conservatoire. At the Konservatorium fuer Musik in Zuerich he continued his piano studies with the Bulgarian born pianist, Sava Savoff. While in Switzerland he contributed regular articles to a Pretoria newspaper about topical issues in European music life. As music critic he also wrote many music reviews of concerts in Pretoria. Since his return to South Africa in 1972 he was employed by Unisa’s Department of Music Examinations. In his capacity as senior examiner he was sent on country wide tours and also conducted practical Licentiate Examinations. Since the establishment of the magazine Musicus in 1973, John Roos served on the editorial committee.

In 1984 the University of South Africa conferred on him an MMus degree cum laude with Prof Bernard van der Linde as his promoter. His thesis dealt with the piano music of the Swiss piano pedagogue, Walter Lang. From 1987 to 1990 he was the Director (Professional) of Unisa’s Department of Music. In 1990 he was appointed Director of the Unisa Transnet Music Foundation responsible for arranging the Unisa International Music Competitions and community music education projects. From 1981 John Roos has been closely involved with the organisation of the international music competitions held at Unisa. In 1987 he became the Artistic Director of these events.

Apart from serving as juror of the Unisa International Music Competitions since 1988, he has also been invited to judge at the following international music competitions: Bilbao (singing), Bratislava (piano), Cologne (piano), Caltanisetta (chamber music), Dakar (guitar and piano), Dortmund (piano), Dublin (piano), Duesseldorf (piano), Hamamatsu (piano), Leeds (piano), Leipzig (piano), Lome (guitar and piano), Marsala (piano), Monte Carlo (piano), Munich (piano), Munich (piano), Naples (piano), Reunion (piano), Senigallia (piano), Sydney (piano), Terni (piano), Tblisi (piano) and Vina del Mar (piano). Apart from judging at competitions, he has also been delegated to attend the General Assemblies of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Lisbon, Grado, Vienna and Budapest, Washington, Geneva, etcetera.

He is a regular member of important national music competitions in South Africa and has been an examiner for Unisa’s Department of Music for the past 36 years. In a private capacity, John Roos is dedicated to promoting the careers of young music performers by serving on boards and trusts and by arranging concerts in his music studio in his residence in Pretoria.

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