DMus (NWU) | MMus (NWU) | HonsBMus (UP) | NLP Master Practitioner
Violinist Piet Koornhof has performed in Southern Africa, Europe, North America, Russia, Singapore and New Zealand.
His has made CD-recordings for Koch Discover International and Delos. These include the complete JS Bach trio-sonatas for flute, violin and piano with Raffaele Trevisani and Paola Girardi, and the Hendrik Hofmeyr double concerto for flute, violin and string orchestra with Trevisani and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra led by Constantine Orbelian.
In addition to the standard repertoire, Piet has a special interest in surprisingly accessible twentieth and twenty-first century chamber music. He has been responsible for the first South African performances of works by, amongst others, Schnittke, Pärt, Vasks, Sviridov, Bolcom, Babadjanian, Chebodarian, Kupkovic, Gliére, Medtner, Taneyev, Loeffler, Martinu, Ben-Haim, Schulhoff, Piazzolla, Schoenfield, Toldra, Karaev, Skoryk, Dvarionas, Hofmeyr, Watt and Klatzow.
Piet was born in South Africa in 1961. He made his concert debut at the age of nine while he was a pupil of Alan Solomon. As a youngster he twice represented South Africa as soloist with the South African National Youth Orchestra on tours to Europe and Israel with conductors Alberto Bolet and Avi Ostrovsky. He was awarded scholarships by amongst others The Southern African Music Rights Organisation, Anglo American Corporation, The Aspen Music School and The Juilliard School where he studied with Dorothy DeLay. He also took part in master classes by Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Sergiu Luca.
His other keen interests include gliding, somatic education and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) of which he is a certified Master Practitioner. He has authored a book on the application of NLP to music teaching and performance, titled Of Muses and Magic: essays for musicians. He is a keen follower of the Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Method, and has been involved in the presentation of workshops featuring Laban/Bartenieff movement education and the Feldenkrais Method. He was responsible for bringing Pulitzer Prize-winner composer and NLP trainer Michael Colgrass to South Africa for workshops in Performance Excellence. As a glider pilot he flies an LS1f sailplane from the Potch Gliding Club.
Piet has been teaching violin, viola, chamber music and methodology of violin teaching at North West University in Potchefstroom since 1986, on both graduate and post-graduate levels. He holds a doctorate in music performance from the same institution where he is associate professor at the School of Music. His Master’s thesis about the teaching strategy of renowned violin teacher Dorothy DeLay, with whom he had studied at the Juilliard School in New York, provided the material for his article in Strad magazine (August 2001), which aroused the interest of the Canadian Swimming Association, who republished it on the grounds that the principles of teaching and learning elucidated by his study are applicable in any context of learning and excellence.
He is married to Esmie, a violinist and school teacher, who is the exquisite mother of their three children, Gerhard, Hannes and Elrie.