South African composer and teacher. Grové was born in Bethlehem in the Orange Free State. He grew up in Bloemfontein, receiving his first music tuition from his mother, herself a music teacher. He learnt the piano, organ and flute, receiving lessons for the former two from his uncle, the well-known South African musician D. J. Roode. Grové enrolled at the South African College of Music in Cape Town in 1945, where he numbered William Henry Bell, Cameron Taylor and Erik Chisholm amongst his teachers. From 1950 to 1952 he worked as an accompanist for the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Cape Town and wrote occasional reviews for the leading Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger. In 1953, he became the first South African to be awarded a Fullbright Scholarship. He accordingly moved to the USA, where he studied at Harvard University and the Longy Music School. In America, Grové was taught by Walton Piston and, after winning the Margaret Croft  Scholarship, by Aaron Copland at Tanglewood. In 1957 Grové was appointed to a lectureship in music theory and composition at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, where he remained, with occasional interruptions, until 1972. He then returned to South Africa, and was appointed to the staff of the University of Pretoria, where he is today Composer-in-Residence. His students have included Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, Alexander Johnson and Herman Jordaan.

Grové’s early works betray the influence of the Neo-Classicism of the Hindemith School, though his music is always distinguished by a fine ear for colour. In 1983, he began incorporating specifically ‘African’ elements into his music, his first work in this vein being the Violin Sonata on African Motives; Grové was in fact one of the very first composers to engage in a serious creative exploration of indigenous African music, removed from the realm of mere ‘couleur locale’. He is also one of the most prominent writers on music to have emerged from South Africa, working for many years as concert and record reviewer of leading newspapers – the bibliography of his writings includes over a thousand titles. He is also an acknowledged author of fiction, having published many short stories.



Die bose wind (Stefans Grové), opera in three acts, 1983


Ballet suite, 1944

Alice in Wonderland, based on Lewis Carroll, Baltimore 1960

Waratha, 1977

Pinocchio, ballet for children, 3 acts, 1988

Incidental Music:

Uit die dagboek van ’n soldaat (N.P. van Wyk Louw), 1963

Orchestral works:

Elegy, for string orchestra, 1948

Overture, 1953

Konsertante simfonie, for chamber orchestra, 1955

Symphony 1962

Partita, 1962

Kettingrye (Chain Rows), 1978

Vladimir’s Round Table. Study in the Russian Style, 1982

Statement for future elaboration, 1983

Dance Rhapsody: Cosmopolitan City, 1985

Concertato Overture: Five Salutations on Two Zulu Themes, 1986

Overture Itubi – a Festive Dance, 1992

Invocation from the Hills and Dances in the Plains, 1994


Sinfonia concertante, 1955

Concerto for violin and orchestra, 1959

Daarstelling, for flute, harpsichord and strings, 1972

Concerto Grosso, for violin, cello, piano and string orchestra, 1974

Maya, concerto grosso for violin, piano and string orchestra, 1978

Suite Concertato. Homage to Bach, Handel and Scarlatti, for harpsichord and string orchestra, 1985

Raka: Symphonic Poem in the Form of a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, after N. P. van Wyk Louw’s Raka, 1995-6

Concertino for piano, trumpet, marimba, flute and strings, 2003

Brass or Wind Ensemble:

Tower Music for brass ensemble, 1954

Suite Juventuti, for winds and percussion, 1986

Chamber Music:

String Quartet in D Major, 1946

Czardas, for violin and piano, 1945

String Trio, 1947

Sonata for clarinet and piano, 1949

Duo for violin and cello, 1950

Duo for viola and cello, 1950 (arr. of the Duo for violin and cello)

Trio, for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 1951

Trio for violin, cello and piano, 1951

Serenade, for flute, oboe, viola, clarinet and harp, 1952

Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 1952

Sonata for cello and piano, 1953

Quintet for harp and string quartet, 1954

Divertimento, for recorder trio, 1953

Sonatina for two recorders, 1955

Metamorfose. Humoristiese variasies op ‘Baba Black Sheep’, for recorder trio, 1955

Sonata for flute and piano, 1955

String quartet, 1955

Divertimento, for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 1955

Two Movements for string quartet, 1958

Sonatine, for recorders, 1960

Three pieces for harp, 1974

The night of 3 April, for flute and harpsichord, 1975

Portret van ’n meisie, for clarinet and guitar, 1975

For a winter’s day, phantasy for bassoon and piano, 1977

Scaramouche, for bassoon solo, 1978

Tribal Dance, for bassoon and piano, 1981

Conversation for three, for oboe/cor anglais, clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion, 1978

Cyclops, for double bass and piano, 1980

Symphonia quattuor cordis, for violin solo, 1981

Herderslied, for oboe and piano, 1981

Aubade, for trumpet and piano, 1981

Koraal, for flute and piano, 1981

Chloe, for oboe and piano, 1981

Fanfare,for trumpet and piano, 1981

Bose kabouter, for clarinet and piano, 1981

Mirror on the Wall, for clarinet and piano, 1981

Swaaieande takke, for flute and piano, 1981

Hartseerlied, for clarinet and piano, 1981

Kronkelsleepsels in die sand, for clarinet and piano, 1981

Akwarel tweekeer besigtigk for double bass and piano, 1983

Concerto senza orchestra, for six cellos, 1984

Gesprek vir drie, for oboe/cor anglais, clarinet/bass clarinet and percussion (Orff instruments, glock, 3 bongos, cassa roulante), undated

Quintet for harp, flute, clarinet, violin and viola, 1986

Sextet for Cellos, 1986

Sonata on African Motives, for violin and piano, 1984

Pan and the Nightingale, for flute solo, 198?

City Serenade, for flute, clarinet, viola, cello and harp, 1985

Trio, for violin, horn and piano, 1988

Jeux de timbres, for harp, celeste and percussion (timpani, claves, gong, crotales, tamt, marimba), 1992

String Quartet: Song of the African Spirits, 1993

Sonata for Viola and Piano, 1994

Soul Bird, for flute, cello and piano, 1998

Portrait of a Clarinet Dancer, for clarinet solo, 1999

Organ Works:

Ritual, a fantasy for organ with four manuals, 1969

Chorale Prelude on Psalm 42, 1974

Rhapsodic Toccata, 1974

Afrika Hymnus I, 1991-3

Afrika Hymnus II, 1997

Piano Music:

Four Piano Pieces, 1945

Six mood pictures, pre-1947

Three Inventions, 1951

Three piano pieces, 1965

Toccata and Rhapsody, 1965

An experience in musical styles, for piano / harpsichord, ca 1970

Four piano pieces, 1975

Seven graded piano pieces for the youth, 1975

Sad Song

Cock Fighting

Night Music from a Far-Eastern Country, 1981

Bondige tokkate, 1981

Die klokke, for piano duet, 1981

Windklokkies in die nag, for piano duet, 1984

Wals van die Olifantjie, for piano duet, 1981

Songs and Dances of Africa, 1991-2

Blue Dream Valley, 1992

Jewish Folksongs, 1993

Nonyana, the Ceremonial Dancer, 1994

Images from Africa, 1998-9

Masks for two pianos, 1999


Cadenzas for Mozart’s Piano Concerto in E Flat, K 482

Choral Works:

2 Carols from Musica Britannica, 1974

Kaapse draaie (D. J. Opperman), for choir (SATB), guitar, piano, marimba, flute, clarinet and xylophone, 1974

Garden (Louis Eksteen), for female chorus (SSA), flute and viola, 1974

Landloper (Louis Eksteen), for female chorus (SSA), 1975

Lied van die Transvaal (F. J. Pretorius), for double choir (SSAATTBB), pianoforte duet, two trumpets and three timpani, 1975

Symphony, for three-part choir and orchestra, 1975 (unfinished)

Music for Easter, for Choir, organ, flute, strings and Orff instruments, 1977

Advent Music for choir, recorder and Orff instruments, 1977

Gesange 133 & 135, by H.L. Hassler, arr. Stefans Grové, 1983

Himmelskönig sei willkommen, for chorus (SATB), 2 trumpets and organ, 1982

Omnis caterva fidelium, for children’s chorus (SSA) and piano, 1985

Concerto burlesco: Gaudeamus igitur: Grepe uit die lewe van ’n eerstejaar (Stefans Grové), for narrator, chorus (SATB) and orchestra, 1992

Psalm 150 in Southern Sotho, for double choir (SATB / SATB), strings and percussion, 1996

Psalm 138, for children’s chorus (SA), chorus (SATB), African drums (two players), marimba and string orchestra, 2002

Solo Vocal Music:

Drie liedere, before 1945: 1. Dis al, (J. F. E. Celliers); 2. Berusting (Toon van den Heever); 3. Weeklag (Anon.)

Cantata profana (Stefans Grové), for two voices, flute, oboe, harpsichord and cello, 1959

Psalm 74, for mezzo-soprano, flute and harp, 1974

Three Japanese Songs, for mezzo-soprano and guitar, 1974

Five songs (Anon.: Old Chinese poems), for mezzo-soprano and guitar, 1975

Psalm 54, for mezzo-soprano, flute and harp, 1974

Light over Judea (Louis Eksteen), for mezzo-soprano and a melody instrument, 1975

Fulgebunt justi, for mezzo-soprano, alto flute and guitar, 1975

Vyf liedere op tekste van Ingrid Jonker, for soprano and piano, 1981

Bid (Petra Muller), for soprano and piano, 1988

Halfpad (Petra Muller), for soprano and piano, 1988

Daar waar jy woon (Petra Muller), for soprano and piano, 1988

7 Boesman-liedere, for soprano, string quartet and piano, 1990

Zulu Horizons (Benedict Vilakazi), four songs for voice and orchestra, 1992



Geredigeerde onderhoud met Stefans Grové

in La Pat Koffiekroeg by die Universiteit van Pretoria

op 10 Desember 2001 deur Stephanus Muller


Grové, Stefans

(b Bethlehem,

23 June 1922)