Plessis, Hubert (Lawrence) du

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Plessis, Hubert (Lawrence) du

Plessis, Hubert (Lawrence) du , distinguished South African composer, pedagogue, pianist, harpsichordist, and writer on music; b. Malmesbury District, June 7, 1922. He was a student of W. H. Bell. After training in piano at the Univ. of Stellenbosch (B.A., 1943), he studied with Friedrich Hartmann at Rhodes Univ. Coll. in Grahamstown (B.Mus., 1945) and with Alan Bush and Howard Ferguson (composition and orchestration) at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1951–54). He was on the faculty of Rhodes Univ. Coll. (1944–51), the Univ. of Cape Town (1955–57), and the Univ. of Stellenbosch (1956–82). In 1963 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the South African Academy for Arts and Sciences. He received an honorary D.Mus. degree from the Univ. of Stellenbosch in 1989. In 1994 State President F. W. de Klerk presented him with the Order for Meritorious Service, 1st class. Among his Writings were Johann Sebastian Bach (1960), Dagboek van “Die Dans von die Reén” (1970), and Leiters from William Henry Bell (1973). In his music, he followed a tonal course with some excursions into serial byways.


DRAMATIC : Incidental music. ORCH .: Sym. (1953–54); Music After 3 Paintings by Henri Rousseau for Large Chamber Orch. (1962); Feestelike Suite for Chamber Orch. (1977–78). CHAMBER : String Quartet (1953); Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello (1957–60); 3 Pieces for Flute and Piano (1962–63); Variasies Op ’n volkswysie for Harp (1968); 4 Antique Dances for Flute and Harpsichord or Piano (1972–74); Sonata for Solo Viola (1977); Suite for 2 Clarinets (1982); ’n Kleine hulde aan Bach for 2 Oboes and Bassoon (1984); Sonata for Solo Cello (1991; rev. 1994). Piano : 4 pieces (1943–45; rev. 1962); 6 Miniatures (1945–49); 2 sonatas (1952; 1974–75); Sonata for Piano Duet (1953); Prelude, Fugue, and Postlude for Piano Duet (1954–55); Inspiré par mes chats (1963–64); 4 pieces (1964–65); Toe ek ’n kind was (When I was a child), suite (1970–71). VOCAL : 2 Christmas Carols for Chorus (1953); Malay Scenes for Chorus, Clarinet, Harp, and String Orch. (1959); The Dance of the Rain for Chorus and Orch. (1959–60); Kersliedjie for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Alto, and Piano (1962); Night and Dawn for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1965–66); Requiem aeternam for Chorus (1974–75); Krokos for Chorus (1982–83); Hugenote-Kantata for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1986–87); other choral pieces and solo songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire