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Special Collections: South African Music Collections


South African Music Collections

Anna Bender Collection
(ZAMUS BENDER), 1919-2004
Mimi Coertse Collection
Stefans Grové Collection
Sarie Lamprecht Collection
(ZAMUS LAMPRECHT), 1923-2005
Marita Napier Collection,
FZ van der Merwe Collection



Anna Bender Collection (ZAMUS BENDER), 1919-2004

Anna Bender was a distinguished pianist, renowned during the latter half of the 20th century in South Africa. Her remarkable career stretched over 60 years.

As the official accompanist and orchestral pianist of the SABC, Anna Bender performed and recorded with some of the world's most famous artists between 1950 and 1970. She also completed an honours degree in Cultural History, with distinction, from the University of Pretoria and as a result of her research, she could publish five bundles of Afrikaans art songs, thus preserving them for posterity.

Anna Bender was a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music London in solo piano, and in 1989, she received the South African Order for Meritorious Service Class 1: Gold for Exceptional Merit, for providing outstanding service in the general public interest. She travelled extensively throughout South Africa and the former Rhodesia as an accompanist, and also performed solo in Prague in 1992.

The collection comprises mainly sheet music, as well as books, photos, articles, programmes, etc.


Mimi Coertse Collection (ZAMUS COERTSE)

A South African singer, who has caught the imagination of, and made a strong impact on, both South African and overseas critics and public alike, Mimi Coertse left South Africa in September 1953 for London, and then travelled via The Hague to Vienna. She arrived in Vienna in January 1954 and started training with Maria Hittorff and Josef Witt. Less than three years later she received a permanent engagement at the Vienna State Opera. In January 1955 she made her first appearance on the professional opera stage as the First Flower girl in Wagner's "Parsifal" at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, with Karl Böhm conducting.

On 17th March 1956 she made her debut at the Vienna State Opera as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and her rise to fame in the five years following that memorable evening in Vienna can only be described as meteoric - with Mimi continuing to extend her repertoire to include the principal roles in all the major operas and operettas staged in, broadcast and televised from opera houses ranking among the world's best.

Her repertoire includes: Constance - Die Entführing aus dem Serail (Mozart); Zerbinetta - Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss); Gilda Rigoletto (Verdi); the three principal female parts - Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach); the Angel - Palestrina (Pfitzner); Frasquita - Carmen (Bizet); Martha Martha (Flotow); Philine - Mignon (Thomas); Violetta - La Traviata (Verdi); female leads - An Irish Legend (Egk); female leads - Unverhofftes Begegnen (Haydn); Nedda - I Pagliacci (Leoncavallo); Fiaker-Milli - Arabella (Strauss); Bastienne - Bastien and Bastienne (Mozart); Hanna Glawari - The Merry Widow (Lehar); Lucia - Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti); Rosalinde - Die Fledermaus (Strauss); Donna Elvira - Don Giovanni (Mozart); Musetta - La Boheme (Puccini); Norma - Norma (Bellini); and Fiordiligi - Cosi fan tutte (Mozart).

Mimi Coertse has sung in theatres at The Hague, Naples, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Graz, Turin, Covent Garden, Salzburg, Linz, Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence, Barcelona, Athens, Melk, Stuttgart and Palermo and with conductors like Karl Böhm, Vittorio Gui, Heinrich Hollreiser, Herbert von Karajan, Josef' Keilberth, Rudolf Kempe, Josef Krips, Rafael Kubelik, Erich Leinsdorf, Lorin Maazel, Rudolf Moralt, John Pritchard, Argeo Quadri, Mario Rossi, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Herman Scherchen, (sir) Georg Solti, Hans Swarowsky, Antonino Votto, Edouard van Remoortel, Wilhelm Loibner, Georg Szell and Dimitri Mitropoulos.

Among the famous singers who have partnered with her are Erich Kunz, Hilde Gueden, Helge Roswaenge, Boris Christoff, Waldemar Kmentt, Guiseppe Zampieri, Johannes Heesters, Otto Edelmann, Rudolf Schock, Sena Jurinac, Rudolf Christ, Christa Ludwig, Teresa Stich-Randall, Walter Berry, Julius Patzak, Otto Wiener and Anton Dermota.

The Mimi Coertse Collection includes sheet music, CDs, and books, as well as personal items such as opera dresses, correspondence albums, paintings and ephemera.


Stefans Grové Collection (ZAMUS FZ GROVE, STEFANS), 1922-2014

Professor Stefans Grové is one of South Africa’s best known composers and he was involved with the Music Department of the University of Pretoria since 1973. After his retirement in 2002 he decided to donate all his compositions to the Africana Music Collection. This collection is characterized by its versatility.

Some of the works included in this collection are:

  • Sonata for flute and piano - 1955
  • Kettingrye - 1978
  • Drie geestelike liedere - 1980
  • Stamdans - 1980
  • Liedere en danse uit Afrika - 1990
  • Wals van die olifantjie - 1991

Stefans Grové Collection - Finding Aid


Sarie Lamprecht Collection (ZAMUS LAMPRECHT), 1923-2005

Sarie Lamprecht was born in George in the Cape Province. She received her first singing instruction from Beatrice Gibson in Cape Town, and in 1953 went to Austria, where she continued her studies in Vienna. During that time, she concentrated mainly on the Lied and Oratorio, of which she acquired an extensive knowledge.

Since 1957 Miss Lamprecht lived in Johannesburg, where she acquired an extensive reputation as a teacher of singing. Her regular solo performances on the air demonstrated her extensive repertoire, which included both classical and modern music.

She was well known as a soloist with the SABC Symphony Orchestra and attracted critical praise for her appearance in Verdi's Requiem, which was performed by the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra conducted by David Tidboald. As radio artist she was particularly lauded for her excellent interpretations of the German song.

The Sarie Lamprecht Collection is made up primarily of sheet music, CDs and books.


Marita Napier Collection (view presentation), 1939-2004

Marita Napier established herself internationally as an exponent of the music of Wagner and Richard Strauss, having sung numerous works by these composers throughout the world. Born in Johannesburg she was one of three South African born opera singers who achieved opera's Grand Slam, having sung lead roles at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Vienna State Opera, La Scala in Milan and Covent Garden in London.

Ms Napier performed 19 productions of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelugen at Covent Garden, La Scala, the Metropolitan and in San Francisco, Bayreuth, Vienna and all the major opera houses in Europe. She also received the Grammy Award (along with the rest of cast) for the Metropolitan recording of Die Walküre in 1989. For CAPAB Opera she sang Leonore in Fidelio and Santa in Der fliegende Holländer. At the Pretoria State Theatre, she sang Electra in ldomeneo and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, and at Roodepoort Puccini's heroine Tosca and Leonore in Fidelio. She was also the soloist in Roodepoort in the South African premiere of Gorecki's Third Symphony.

Ms Napier was a world-renowned interpreter of Chrysothemis in Strauss' Elektra (on occasion opposite Birgit Nilsson in the title role) in San Francisco, Belgrade, Basle and Stuttgart. One of her greatest achievements was performing at the Bayreuth Festival, whilst she was voted 'Voice of America' for her Senta in Der fliegende Holländer in San Francisco in the late seventies. She holds the distinction of singing for one of the biggest television audiences in the world when she gave a concert in Beijing on the Met tour to China. She has sung under conductors such as Levine, Mehta, Sawallisch, Colin Davis and Boulez, among others.

She started her association with CAPAB Opera in 1976 when she returned for the first time to South Africa to sing Senta in Der fliegende Holländer, after which she sang Leonore in Fidelio, Leonora in La Forza Del Destino, Brunnhilde in Die Walküre, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Abigaille in Nabucco, Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth, Princess Turandot in Turandot and Bessie Lutter in Roelof Temmingh's Sacred Bones at the NICO.

She recorded the Mother in Humperdinck's Hänsel and Gretel with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra under Horst Stein. She has many recordings to her credit, among others Beethoven's Choral Symphony under Seiji Ozawa and Schönberg's Gurrelieder under Pierre Boulez as well as Kurt Weill's opera Der Zar Lasst sich Photographieren. Ms Napier also recorded Das Rheingold and Die Walküre.

This collection is made up of sheet music, CDs, DVDs, photos, opera dresses, personal notes, books and records, among other documents and ephemera.


FZ van der Merwe Collection (ZAMUS FZ)

(Finding aid)

Dr Frederick Ziervogel van der Merwe (1894-1968) was a medical doctor with an exceptional interest in the identification, collection and preservation of South African sheet music. His collection, which he bequeathed to the University of Pretoria in 1968, now forms the basis of the FZ van der Merwe Sheet Music Collection. However, he also left a sum of money, of which the interest is used on an ongoing basis for the further expansion of the collection.

Why is this collection not integrated with the rest of the University of Pretoria's music collection? In deference to the wishes of Dr F.Z. van der Merwe the collection is maintained separately and made available, under supervision, to researchers only. This collection may rightly be described as the largest and most comprehensive collection of South African sheet music in the world.

The collection comprises mainly sheet music, books, photos, CDs, DVDs as well as correspondence and other documents.



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