Zanta Elizabeth Hofmeyr
Zanta Hofmeyr was born and raised in Johannesburg. She is the eldest of eight children of Jan and Elma Hofmeyr (née van Niekerk).
Zanta Hofmeyr is one of South Africa’s most renowned violinists. She first started with piano lessons at the age of seven, and at ten she started violin lessons with Eva Jeskova. From age 13 she continued her violin studies with Vincent Frittelli. During this period, her chamber music mentors were Betty Pack and Alan Solomon. Her first concerto appearance was at 14 in a performance of the Wieniawski Concerto in d minor.
Hofmeyr left for the United States at the age of 17, made possible by her winning several competitions, to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York with renowned teachers Dorothy Delay, Masao Kawasaki and Hyo Kang. After graduating from Juilliard she made her New York debut as winner of the Artists International competition in 1985 at the Weill recital Hall (part of the Carnegie Hall).
Since her return from the United States later that year, she has been a prolific performer and teacher in South Africa and abroad. Apart from performing annually in recitals with various pianists she also appears regularly as soloist with the different symphony orchestras in South Africa playing concerti by Barber, Beethoven, Britten, Brahms, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Wieniawski.
A strong proponent of new compositions, she gave the South African première performance of ‘Raptus’ by composer Hendrik Hofmeyr with the Cape Philharmonic orchestra in 2002 and the Johannesburg Philharmonic orchestra in 2005 as well as his ‘Nelle mani d’Amduscias’for solo violin in 2007 in Johannesburg. In 2008 she collaborated with SAMRO (South African Music Rights Organisation) to commission Hendrik Hofmeyr to write his first violin-and-piano sonata. He dedicated the work to her and pianist Malcolm Nay. They premièred the work at the Aardklop Arts Festival in October 2008.
The British composer, Richard Pantcheff also wrote and dedicated his Sonata for violin and organ to her and organist Wim Viljoen. They gave the first performance of the work in 2010 at the Dutch Reformed Church Universiteitsoord in Pretoria. She also performed works by Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolphe, Hans Roosenschoon, Stefans Grové and the Maltese composer Camillieri.
In 2010 and 2011 she performed as a member of the Goldberg Trio and –Quartet in the trio version of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations as well as the complete set of Beethoven’s Opus 18 string quartets at the Klein Karoo Arts Festival in Oudshoorn. Since 2012 she has been a member of the Wits Trio who has won acclaim for their performances of the complete Brahms piano trios and in 2018 for the Schubert trios at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
Hofmeyr has collaborated with some of the foremost jazz musicians in South Africa such as Denis Lalouette, Surrendran Reddy, Denzil Wheal, Mark Duby, Rob Watson, Rocco de Villiers, Charl du Plessis and Wessel van Rensburg.