In this series of interviews with composers they share their thoughts, inspirations, highlights, concerns and much more with us. You are welcome to add applicable and interesting questions to the questionnaire.

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Interview with Peter Klatzow

1. Who or what inspired you to take up composing, and pursue a career in music?
No one at all. There was no interest in my family. They were against a career in music.

2. Who or what were the most significant influences on your musical life and career as a composer?
Aida Lovell, Bernard Stevens and Nadia Boulanger

3. In which way did the work of particular composers before you allow you to take decisions which were vital for your creative development?
Chopin – a great interest in writing for the piano, Mahler – a great interest in composing symphonic music, Schubert and Hugo Wolf – great interest in writing for the voice.

4. What are currently your main artistic challenges?
Synchronising past languages and techniques with contemporary idioms.

5. What have been the greatest frustrations/challenges of your career so far?
Getting my music played and known in South Africa. I am saddened that singers are ignoring my contribution to the art song realm.

6. Of which works are you most proud?
Prayers and Dances of Praise from Africa, Piano Sonata, Incantations, Six Concert Etudes for Ma-rimba, Three Paintings by Irma Stern for small orchestra.

7. How would you characterise your compositional language?
Contemporary synchronistic, extended tonality.

8. How do you work?
Regularly every morning, with lots of breaks for facebook and cooking!

9. Who are your favourite composers?
Chopin, Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Britten, Prokofief, Stockhausen.

10. What is your most memorable concert experience?
All Klatzow concert by the Cape Town Philharmonic in 2015 and the All-Klatzow percussion even-ing at Rotterdam Codarts.

11. What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
Write for particular musicians. Develop relationships with performers.

(Some of the questions are borrowed from The Cross-eyed Pianist Questionnaire)

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