Bongani Ndodana was born in Queenstown and was educated at St Andrews College, then at Rhodes University, where his teachers included Ishbel Sholto-Douglas.  He subsequently was awarded a scholarship by the Foundation for the Creative Arts that allowed him to study composition with Roelof Temmingh at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1997, Ndodana  was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music, one of South Africa’s most prestigious arts prizes. This led to a commission for his opera-oratorio Uhambo that he conducted at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 1998.


Performances of his music have taken place in Europe, North America, Africa and the Far East. He was composer in residence with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra,and is today based in Toronto, where he is director of the Ensemble Noir.



Orchestral Works:

Symphony No. 1 "Heroes"

2 movements for string orchestra; premiered in July 1998, St Andrew's Chapel at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival Grahamstown; Ndodana conducting members of Cape Town Opera orchestra


Symphony No. 2  "Umuntu Wa Bantu"

45 min.; 5 movements. (2+2+2+2;2211;1,2perc,strings); orchestra, soprano, alto and chorus;texts "Veni Creator" and excerpts from the  Presidential Inauguration address by Nelson Mandela of May 10, 1994; commissioned by Madam Walker Theater Center for the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra with funding from Ford Foundation/Africa Xchange and Lilly Endowment; premiered July 1998, Madam Walker Theatre Indianapolis; Stanley de Rusha conducting the ICO


Vela Zulu

Choral-symphony ca 1h40 min., (2+3+3+;4321;hrp, timp, 4perc, s,a,t,b, chorus,strings); texts by Prof Themba Msimang; commissioned by the Playhouse Company of Durban, November 1999; premiere  2001.


African Kaddish

7 min.; large Orchestra; Commissioned by SAMRO for the National Youth Orchestra of South Africa; Premiere July 2001


The hero lives again

9 min.; large orchestra and narrator; based on poems by South African writer, Zakes Mda; May 1999


uNandi

7 min.; soprano and orchestra; text by the composer; premiered at the 1999 Mass Choir Festival, Johannesburg; conducted by Richard Cock


Vespers

Soprano and chamber orchestra (revised version); original version premiered in August 1996 Endler Hall, Stellenbosch; composer conducting; excerpts choreographed by Lindi Raizenburg for Cape Town City Ballet as the ballet piece Episodes


Scenes of Grahamstown

String orchestra; excerpts  choreographed by Lindi Raizenburg for Cape Town City Ballet as the ballet piece Episodes


Mass

Ensemble (012+0,0000, perc, 2vln, 11); dance score, choreography by R.Taylor; premiered October 1998 du Maurier Theatre Harbourfront Centre, Toronto; composer conducting


My Granddaddy wore no shoes

Ensemble(1111;0000; 1 perc; strings); dance score, choreography Germaul Barnes; commissioned by Barnes through funding from the City of Phoenix Arts Commission, Arizona; performed TG Barr Elementary, Phoenix AZ, April 1999


Operatic Works:

Themba and Seliba

Chamber opera with libretto by Gwyneth Lloyd; commissioned by Co-Opera with funding from the Grahamstown Foundation and Nedbank Arts & Culture Trust, premiered  December 1996, 1820  Settlers Monument Theatre, Grahamstown; also, July 1997 National Arts Festival Fringe


Uhambo -The Pilgrimage

Opera-Oratorio base on Guy Butler's Pilgrimage to Dias Cross; members of Cape Town Opera and Orchestra, July 1998 Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown Festival, under the direction of the composer; dedicated to Guy Butler


Umuntu: "Threnody and Dances"

Monodrama commissioned by the National Arts Council of South Africa; libretto by the composer; premiered March 2001 with Linda Bukhosini (soprano) at the Auditorium of the SABC Studios in Durban


Chamber music:

Three Miniatures on Motherhood

Soprano and string quartet; first performed in Munich and Innsbruck, 2001


Zulu Dances for Octet

(fl,cl,bsn,trp,trb,perc,vln,cb); written for the Cuttime players of Detroit, MI


An African Rainsong

Duo for alto saxophone and piano


Rituals for Forgotten Faces - No. 5

(fl, ob, cl, bsn, hr, tru, tro, perc, mar, 2vln, vla, vc, db); Concerto Grosso in 2 movements for marimba and 13 instruments; an Ensemble Noir commission


Rituals for Forgotten Faces  - No. 1

Solo piano; premiered by Jill Richards in Pittsburgh, October 1999


Rituals for Forgotten Faces  -No. 2 "A joy"

Solo piano; premiered by Jill Richards in Pittsburgh, October 1999


Rituals for Forgotten Faces - No. 3

Solo piano


Rituals for Forgotten Faces - No. 4a

String quartet; an Ensemble Noir commission


Rituals for Forgotten Faces - No. 4b

String quartet; an Ensemble Noir commission


Rituals for Forgotten Faces - No. 6

Sextet 


The Lamentations of Jeremiah The Prophet

Soprano and ensemble; premiered July 1995, Beethoven Auditorium, Fringe Festival of Standard Bank National Arts Festival (score has been withdrawn by the composer)


The Sun, The Moon, The Rain

String quartet; premiered Chicago Cultural Center's Cassidy Theatre, August 1997; dedicated to Ishbel Sholto-Douglas


Ceremonies and Tongues

Piano, vln, vc. in two movements, commissioned by the National Arts Council for the Egoli trio; dedicated to Jill Richards, February 1998; premiered WITS Hall Johannesburg


Sonatina for Clarinet

Clarinet and piano; premiered July 1995, Beethoven Auditorium, Fringe Festival of Standard Bank National Arts Festival


Alleluias

Ensemble; premiered July 1995, Beethoven Auditorium, Fringe Festival of Standard Bank National Arts Festival

(score withdrawn by the composer)


Noupoort Fragments

String quartet, October 1998


The year of the Famine

Song cycle for Bass Bar and piano (for Abel Motshoadi); written January 1999; premiere August 2001


Dialogue for Cello and Piano

Premiered Chicago Cultural Center's Cassidy Theatre, August 1997; dedicated to Itamar Cohen


Jerry and Dirk's Anniversary

Harpsichord; March 1998


Five Preludes after Shakespeare

Piano; August 1996 Beethoven Auditorium, Grahamstown


Pas de deux sauvage

2 pianos; commissioned by SAMRO for Jill Richards and Michael Blake; premiered on European recital tour, August 1999


But There Went Up A Mist...

Organ; premiered by Gerrit Jordaan, 1998; recorded by Obelisk Music


The Garden

Organ; February 1999 

(can be performed as 2nd  movement to But There Went Up...)


A Mari Usque Ad Mare

Organ; February 1999

(can be performed as 3rd  movement to But There Went Up...)


Lives in Letter Beads

Piano; commissioned by SAMRO for the South African Society of Music Teachers; January 2000


Visions (in 2 parts)

Solo flute/violin; written  for Wendy Hymes; Feb 2000


Flowers in Sand (in 2 parts)

Piano; written for Lucius Weathersby; February 2000


Choral Works:

Sharpville Gloria

Written for Canta Nova of Hannover, Germany; Matt Schuermann, director


Lamentatio (Part 1)

Written for the choir of Wadham College, Oxford; Lawrence Schaffer, director.


Haec Dies

SATB; written in Jerusalem; 1997


There is no Rose of such Virtue

SSAATTBB; for the Rhodes Chamber Choir, conducted by Christopher Cockburn; August 1996


Rain song

SA; commissioned by Juanita Lamprecht; first performed Port Elizabeth UPE Cultura 1996

 

NDODANA, Bongane 


(b Queenstown, 1975)