Bongani Ndodana-Breen


Bongani Ndodana-Breen shatters any conception that the world of classical music is a stuffy, Eurocentric anomaly in modern South Africa. In 1998 he became the youngest classical composer to win a Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music. He is also the only composer from Africa to have been featured in a concert comprised entirely of his own works in the prestigious Composer Portraits series at the Miller Theatre in New York. Like many South African classical artists Ndodana-Breen has found more fame and fortune abroad than at home, but his latest work, Winnie: The Opera, which premiered in South Africa in April, looks set to change that. Ndodana-Breen is inspired by his heritage, and traditional Xhosa music feeds into much of what he does as a contemporary classical musician. He hopes to continue in this vein, writing more "operas and other works that continue to give a South African voice in classical music�. �Lisa van Wyk