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About City

Ben Schoeman

DMA student

Department of Music

E: office@benschoeman.com

Title of thesis: Pedagogical elements in the piano music of Stefans Grové and their impact on the education of pianists in South Africa

Supervisor: Dr Christopher Wiley

Overview and research interests

Stefans Grové (born 1922) is one of South Africa's most prominent composers. His oeuvre encompasses every genre, from orchestral works, chamber music and song to opera and ballet. He has also composed a vast array of piano music, and some of his key works for the instrument are discussed and compared in this thesis. The aim of Ben's research is to demonstrate how an analysis of their theoretical aspects and pedagogical elements can facilitate a more successful interpretation on the concert stage.

Grové is arguably the first internationally-renowned composer to incorporate Black African elements into his music. This unique creative synthesis of the indigenous and the 'Western' is investigated, along with other significant stylistic features in Grové's music - motivic permutation and timbre modulation. By way of conclusion Ben will also discuss the potential impact that the study of these elements might have on the education of young pianists in South Africa.

Research interests:

  • Performing musicology
  • Historical research
  • Music education

Ben has a Master Diploma di Alto Perfezionamento, Pianoforte, Accademia Pianistica 'Incontri col Maestro', Imola, Italy (2005-2010), MMus (cum laude) - University of Pretoria, 2009, BMus (cum laude) - University of Pretoria, 2005, Performer's Licentiate in Music (Piano - cum laude), University of South Africa, 2005, and a Teacher's Licentiate in Music (Piano - cum laude), University of South Africa, 2004.


  • Ben Schoeman - Piano Music of Franz Liszt (including Après une lecture du Dante, Vallée d'Obermann, Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este, Sonata in B minor), TwoPianists Records (2011).
  • Live Performance of Ben Schoeman - Concertos of Mozart and Tchaikovsky with the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa and conductor Arjan Tien, UNISA and Salon Music (2008).


  • November 2011, Barbican Hall, London: Ben Schoeman plays Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Diego Masson.
  • January 2012, Stellenbosch Oude Libertas Theatre and Cape Town City Hall: Ben Schoeman plays the two Piano Concertos of Franz Liszt (S. 124 and S. 125) with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yasuo Shinozaki.
  • January 2012, ArtsCape Opera House, Cape Town: Ben Schoeman plays a solo recital, including JS Bach - Partita no. 4 (BWV 828), Claude Debussy - Pour Le Piano (1901) and Robert Schumann - Kreisleriana, Op. 16.
  • February 2012, Johannesburg, Summer Place: Ben Schoeman plays a solo recital with piano music of Bach, Debussy, Grieg and Liszt.
  • March 2012, Barbican Hall, London: Ben Schoeman plays a solo recital with piano works of Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonata no. 3 in F minor, Op. 5 and Variations on a theme of Paganini, Op.35, http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event-detail.asp?ID=11812
  • May 2012, Barbican Hall, London: Gold Medal Final Concert - Ben Schoeman plays Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra and conductor James Judd (other performers Jonathan Chan - Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto, Op. 35 and Ashley Fripp - Liszt, Totentanz for Piano and Orchestra, S. 126)



You can find a selection of Ben's performances on the following YouTube links: