oa South African Journal of Cultural History - South African students at the Conservatory of Music in Leipzig, 1893-1914

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1018-0745



During the years 1893-1914 the amazing total of 31 students with South African connections studied at the famous Conservatory of Music in Leipzig. This article presents information about these pioneers, gleaned from their enrolment forms and final reports which are held in the Archives of the Hochschule for Musik und Theater ""Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy"" in Leipzig. The students came from Afrikaans, English and German backgrounds. They originated from cities like Cape Town, or from small towns like Richmond, Burgersdorp and Montagu. Some were born in Haiderabad in India, Potsdam in Germany, and Konigsberg in East Prussia. A number had studied in South Africa with some of the foremost teachers, including Rocco de Villiers (1838-1902), Prof. Jannasch (1853 1930} and P.K. de Villiers (1874-194). But from the reports can be deduced that many of them were ill-prepared for their studies at the Conservatory. The influence these pioneering South African students had on the development of classical music in South Africa must have been considerable. It is hoped that further research will reveal their hereabouts after their return to South Africa.

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