Concert Resumés

Zanta Elizabeth Hofmeyr CV (English) 2018

Zanta Hofmeyr was born and raised in Johannesburg. She is the eldest of eight children of Jan and Elma Hofmeyr (née van Niekerk).

Zanta is one of South Africa’s most renowned violinists. She first started with piano lessons at the age of 7 and at 10 she started violin lessons with Eva Jeskova. From age 13 she continued her violin studies with Vincent Frittelli. During this period her chamber music mentors were Betty Pack and Alan Solomon. Her first concerto appearance was at 14 in a performance of the Wieniawski Concerto in d minor.

She left for the United States at the age of 17, made possible by her winning several competitions, to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York with renowned teachers Dorothy Delay, Masao Kawasaki and Hyo Kang. After graduating from Juilliard she made her New York debut as winner of the Artists International competition in 1985 at the Weill recital Hall (part of the Carnegie Hall). Since her return from the United States later that year, she has been a prolific performer and teacher in South Africa and abroad. Apart from performing annually in recitals with various pianists she also appears regularly as soloist with the different symphony orchestras in South Africa playing concerti by Barber, Beethoven, Britten, Brahms, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Wieniawski. A strong proponent of new compositions, she gave the South African première performance of ‘Raptus’ by composer Hendrik Hofmeyr with the Cape Philharmonic orchestra in 2002 and the Johannesburg Philharmonic orchestra in 2005 as well as his ‘Nelle mani d’Amduscias’ for solo violin in 2007 in Johannesburg. In 2008 she collaborated with SAMRO (South African Music Rights Organisation) to commission Hendrik Hofmeyr to write his first violin-and-piano sonata. He dedicated the work to her and pianist Malcolm Nay. They premièred the work at the Aardklop Arts Festival in October 2008. The British composer, Richard Pantcheff also wrote and dedicated his Sonata for violin and organ to her and organist Wim Viljoen. They gave the first performance of the work in 2010 at the Dutch Reformed Church Universiteitsoord in Pretoria. She also performed works by Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolphe, Hans Roosenschoon, Stefans Grové and the Maltese composer Camillieri.

From her extensive recital repertoire, her performances of the 10 Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin in 1999 and later all-Brahms and -Prokofiev, -Grieg, -Schumann and Schubert recitals with Malcolm Nay stand out as particular highlights. In 2011 she and pianist Elna van der Merwe had a very successful concert at Teatro Manuel in Valetta, Malta. With Elna she performed and recorded a programme of French violin sonatas in 2016. During 2016 she also toured South Africa and the United States with Bulgarian pianist Ilia Radoslavov in performances of the 10 Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin.

Chamber music forms a substantial part of her career. As a member of the Musaion Trio she performed at the Grachte Fees in Amsterdam as well as the Palace in Apeldoorn. In addition to the concert in Amsterdam, she also gave a lecture at Zuid-Afrika Huis about a television documentary which featured her collaboration with San musicians of Namibia and Platfontein. She has been on the faculty, teaching and performing at the Kinhaven Chamber Music Festival in Vermont, USA as well as the Internatinal Chamber Music Festival in Stellenbosch. She is also a faculty member of the Gauteng Chamber Music Festival in Pretoria.

In 2010 and 2011 she performed as a member of the Goldberg Trio and –Quartet in the trio version of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations as well as the complete set of Beethoven’s Opus 18 string quartets at the Klein Karoo Arts Festival in Oudshoorn. Since 2012 she has been a member of the Wits Trio who has won acclaim for their performances of the complete Brahms piano trios and in 2018 for the Schubert trios at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Zanta has collaborated with some of the foremost jazz musicians in South Africa such as Denis Lalouette, Surrendran Reddy, Denzil Wheal, Mark Duby, Rob Watson, Rocco de Villiers, Charl du Plessis and Wessel van Rensburg.

She is committed to supporting young talent and has taught violin ever since she finished her own studies. She served on the faculties of the Universities of North-West, the Witwatersrand and from 2000 as associate professor at the University of Pretoria. She resigned in order to better balance her concert and teaching careers and since 2006 she has taught in a part-time capacity at Pretoria and Wits Universities. From 2000 until 2002 she taught at the Morekolodi primary school in Ga-Rankuwa on weekends. She is currently the patron of the Thabang ka Mmino music project in Soweto.
She has acted as adjudicator at competitions in South Africa and was on the adjudicating panel of the Rudolfo Lipizer violin competition in Italy in 2016.

Zanta is the recipient of several awards such as the Rapport/City Press Woman of the Year in 2004, an Afrikoon award from the ATKV in 2005 as well as SAMA and Fiësta nominations.

She recorded the following CDs:

  • Zanta Hofmeyr plays Arioso (with Wim Viljoen),
  • Romantic Violin (with Malcolm Nay),
  • Cantilena(with Wim Viljoen),
  • Beethoven Tango (with Charl du Plessis),
  • French Violin Sonatas (with Elna van der Merwe) and
  • Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin 2,4,6 (with Ilia Radoslavov).

Zanta was particularly honoured when rose cultivator Ludwig Tassner presented her with a new ‘Zanta Homeyr’ rose in 2003.


Zanta Hofmeyr