n South African Journal of Cultural History - "Valse opgaven" : Dutch students who allegedly studied at the Conservatorium of Music in Amsterdam (1884-1922), and later came to South Africa




Many, but not all, of the articles on the lives of European musicians who came to South Africa contain basic factual mistakes in Malan's South African Music Encyclopedia (SAME: 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986). These "improvements" on the facts about their studies were most probably effected in order to give them a better chance of obtaining a professional position. But Pierre and Angelique de Beer were really Dutch graduates from the Music Conservatorium of Amsterdam. Willem Gerke also emigrated to South Africa, but clearly did not study at the Conservatorium as suggested in SAME. Neither did Jan Luyt Sr, his wife Johanna Luyt (née Plomp), Dirk Meerkotter nor Willem van Warmelo. Dirk Balfoort spent about ten years of his early life in Pretoria and later obtained the diploma in violin playing of the Conservatorium. Frits Schuurman did obtain his diploma, but there is no proof that he received it with distinction. Although Ernest Mulder did not come to South Africa to teach, he had a strong relationship with Afrikaans culture and set some Afrikaans poems to music. With their excellent background, these Dutch musicians could contribute greatly to South Africa's budding cultural life.

Baie (maar nie alle nie) artikels oor die lewens van Europese musici wat na Suid-Afrika toe gekom het, bevat basiese feitefoute in Malan se (SAME: 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986). Hierdie "verbetering" van die feite oor hulle studie is heel moontlik aangebring met die doel om hulle 'n beter kans te gee om 'n professionele betrekking te bekom. Pierre en Angelique de Beer was nogtans werklik Nederlandse graduandi van die Musiekkonservatorium van Amsterdam. Willem Gerke het ook na Suid-Afrika geëmigreer, maar het duidelik nie by die Conservatorium studeer soos dit deur SAME gestel is nie. So ook Jan Luyt sr., sy vrou Johanna Luyt (née Plomp), Dirk Meerkotter en Willem van Warmelo. Dirk Balfoort het ongeveer tien jaar van sy vroeë lewe in Pretoria deurgebring en later die diploma in vioolspel aan die Conservatorium verwerf. Frits Schuurman het wel 'n diploma behaal, maar geen bewys bestaan dat hy dit met onderskeiding verwerf het nie. Hoewel Ernest Mulder nie na Suid-Afrika gekom het om les te gee nie, het hy 'n sterk verbintenis met die Afrikaanse kultuur gehad. Hy het 'n aantal Afrikaanse gedigte getoonset. Deur die uitgebreide agtergrond wat hulle saamgebring het, het hierdie Nederlandse musici grootliks tot die ontwikkelende kulturele lewe in Suid-Afrika bygedra.


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