Information Centre for Southern African Music (ISAM)

ISAM logoFor composers

Most of our activities have the aim to support and motivate South African composers by organising concerts with premières and repeat performances of their works, and by presenting other events such as round table discussions, seminars and workshops. Since ISAM operates as part of the NWU School of Music, composers studying here enjoy a considerable amount of the attention and available resources.

For performers

By offering opportunities to perform in concerts and to participate in workshops and discussions, ISAM also supports the careers of (mainly South African) performers who choose to perform music by South African composers. We also hope to stimulate and support young musicians who are interested in performing works by South African composers. We are mostly involved in events that are presented here in Potchefstroom.


ISAM has presented concerts with South African music for about four decades. Our programmes often present South African works together with new works by composers from other parts of the world.

ISAM has organised workshops for composers for the past two decades, most notably two workshops presented by the prominent American composer George Crumb. We have organised workshops and interviews with composers and ensembles, amongst others with the American composer-performer Lukas Ligeti, the Mexican composer and sound artist Rodrigo Sigal, the Swiss composer-performer Michael Pelzel, and Ravish Momin (composer-performer from the USA). South African composers who have featured in our projects include Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, Clare Loveday, Angie Mullins, Andile Khumalo, Hannes Taljaard and Chris van Rhyn. Important international performers with whom ISAM has cooperated on projects in Potchefstroom include the Duo Montagnard (USA), ensemble Zora (Switzerland) and Ensemble CrossArt (Germany).

We also organised the Vice Chancellor’s Composition Prize which resulted in commissions to several young South African composers.

ISAM accepts donations of scores and other materials, which become part of a special collection in the music library of the School of Music.

Our main sponsor over the years has been the SAMRO Foundation.

For further information about ISAM, please contact Dr Chris van Rhyn.