Hendrik Hofmeyr, born in Cape Town in 1957, is one of the most renowned composers of South Africa. After taking up his studies at the university of his home town, he emigrated to Italy for ten years in protest against the Apartheid government, graduating abroad with degrees in composition, piano performance and conducting. In 1987 he won the South African Opera Competition with the opera The Fall of the House of Usher, based on Poe’s novel of the same title. In 1988 he won an award at the film festival in Trento, Italy, for the music for a short film by Wim Wenders. In 1992 Hofmeyr returned to South Africa; today he holds a chair at the University of Cape Town. His oeuvre includes more than 50 commissions: for Raptus for violin and orchestra, he won an award at the 1997 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels; that same year, his Byzantium for soprano and orchestra won the Dmitri Mitropoulos Competition in Athens. In addition to his six operas, Hofmeyr has composed a great variety of solo concerti, over 50 sacred choral works, chamber music for many different instrumentations and arrangements of traditional South African music.