South Africa has produced some great names; to name a few, Elon Musk, Charlize Theron, Allan Cormack, Miriam Makeba, Clive Calder, William Kentridge, Zakes Mda, Basil Jones, Adrian Kohler…. Peter Klatzow stands among these. Irrepressible talents who do what they are born to do and shift the planet slightly.
Remarkably Peter heard Ravel’s Balero at the age of four and responded to it and remembered it. More remarkably he was eight when his mother first heard him playing a piano. She was shopping in a second hand furniture store. “Who’s that playing?” she asked the store-man. “Your son madam,” he replied.
He attended St Martin’s School where, instead of rugby he was allowed to spend hours upon hours in the chapel practicing piano. At 18 he won a bursary to study at the Royal College of Music, London where he was the youngest person to ever win the Royal Philharmonic prize for composition. It was here that he was spotted by Nadia Boulanger, a French teacher who has the distinction of teaching some of the 20th Century’s top composers and musicians. “Come to Paris I will teach you,” she commanded. He went to Paris.
Peter composes: Liturgical pieces, canticles and tone poems; string quartets, orchestral works and ballets, concertos and etudes. It is what he does while he is making toast in the morning, while stroking his cat, while getting lost in the traffic, where ever he is, Peter is composing.
Peter passed away on 29th December 2021