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Jacques De Vos Malan : Represented Artist

My work is more like a private journal than a public statement. I've always travelled as much as possible and been influenced by different sound worlds: the creak of rigging on a dhow, the crunch of boots on desert sand. The sound poems are full of autobiographical references.

Photo of Jacques De Vos Malan

Born on the 3rd December 1953 in New York to South African parents, Dr Jacques de Vos Malan was educated at schools in England, Portugal and South Africa. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music (composition) degree from the University of Cape Town (1976), winning the Van Huylsteyn Scholarship, the Universal Edition Prize for composition and the Composition Class Medal three years in succession. Studies included Social Anthropology and African languages.

He pursued postgraduate work in London, studying composition with Nicola LeFanu (and informally with David Lumsdaine), and reading musicology with Arnold Whittall and palaeography with Pierluigi Petrobelli. He graduated with a Master of Music (composition) degree at King's College, University of London (1979) and returned to South Africa to complete the degree of Doctor of Music at the University of Pretoria (1983) under Stefans Grové. On several occasions, he studied informally, and collaborated, with the American experimental composer Morton Feldman.

De Vos Malan worked as a radio and television music producer for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and subsequently as an independent arts documentary filmmaker. He has lectured in ethnomusicology at the University of the Witwatersrand and in composition and twentieth-century aesthetics at the University of Cape Town. His career as an arts administrator has included the roles of Manager of the National Symphony Orchestra, Johannesburg; Executive Director of the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra; Music Director of the Musica Reservata chamber orchestra; and founder of Fine Music Radio, Cape Town. FMR was the first community broadcaster to go to air in the democratic South Africa and recently celebrated its twenty-first anniversary.

De Vos Malan migrated to Australia in 2000 where his roles have included managing the Major Festivals portfolio for Arts Victoria and Director of Programming & Marketing for the Adelaide Festival Centre. He has served on the Music Council of Australia, on the board of the SA Living Artists Festival and on the Advisory Committee of the Arts Management Programme at the University of South Australia. In 2006, de Vos Malan was appointed as the inaugural CEO of Melbourne Recital Centre, opened by the Victorian Premier in 2009. Between 2010 and 2016, de Vos Malan managed ACOLA, a national research venture established by Australia's Learned Academies. He directed the interdisciplinary research program, Securing Australia's Future, which concluded in June 2016. He has served on the board of Melbourne Fringe and been closely involved with the Australian National Development Index. Since 2013, he has spoken at international conferences on the management of transdisciplinary research.

De Vos Malan's work as a composer is substantially influenced by the music and ideas of John Cage and Morton Feldman, the theoretical writings of Umberto Eco, and his own studies of Japanese aesthetics. After 1995, he spent fifteen years writing almost exclusively for small chamber groups, creating works which are typically quiet and sparse, dealing with abstract questions of signification, meaning and memory. In recent years, he has been working in a similar vein with digital and electronic resources.

De Vos Malan's works have been published by Musications (Cape Town) and Seesaw Music (New York). His works have been performed, recorded and broadcast in Australia, Belgium, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the USA and at the Banff Festival in Canada. His scores are included in the library of the Gaudeamus Foundation Contemporary Music Centre, Amsterdam, the New York Public Library and the Australian Music Centre. The most recent electro-acoustic works are available on Soundcloud.

Jacques De Vos Malan — current to July 2016