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David Blazey

(Gordon)

(b Johannesburg, Dec 2, 1957). South African composer . He studied at the University of Cape Town, where his teachers included Klatzow and James May (BMus 1978, MMus 1986), at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart, with Lachenmann (Künstlerische Abschlussprüfung, 1989) and at Keele University with George Nicholson. His music is primarily linear in conception. By superimposing independent musical strata, he creates irregular rhythmic patterns that are either augmented to become the form of the composition, or diminished to be perceived as individual rhythmic units. Specific pitches are identified with each impulse of the resulting rhythms and a harmony or harmonic field is associated with each pitch. The influence of his South African-Jewish roots and their cultural associations within Germany, the country he has adopted as his home, are reflected in the titles of his compositions. Many works are scored for unusual instruments and ensembles....

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Richard Wigmore

(b Rochovot, Israel, Jan 14, 1960). South African bass-baritone of Israeli birth. The son of an Israeli father and an English mother, he emigrated to South Africa with his family in 1966. After studying singing at the RNCM in Manchester and at the University of Toronto, Saks made his professional début in 1982, in the title role in The Mikado at Stratford, Ontario. He learnt his operatic craft in Germany, singing with the Gelsenkirchen Opera from 1985 to 1988 and the Bielefeld Opera from 1988 to 1991. From 1992 to 1994 he was principal bass-baritone with Scottish Opera. Although he was admired in roles such as Leporello, this period was marred by clashes with the management over the company’s style of productions. He made his Covent Garden début, as Mr Flint in Billy Budd, in 1995 and the following year sang his first major Wagner role, Daland (...