Koch, Paul

Jacobus Kloppers (born 1937 in Krugersdorp, South Africa) served as Professor of Organ and Musicology and Chair of the Music Department at The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada since its founding in 1979, until his retirement in June 2008. He continued as full-time lecturer in Organ and Musicology at King’s and as Adjunct Professor in Keyboard at the University of Alberta until April 2013.

He started his musical training in South Africa and completed a B.A. (Music and Art History), Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Potchefstroom. After completing the Performer’s and Teacher’s Organ Licentiates at the University of South Africa (UNISA, 1959) he won the UNISA overseas scholarship in Performance, which, together with a German Academic Exchange Scholarship (DAAD) allowed him to continue his studies in Frankfurt/Main: Organ with Professor Helmut Walcha at the Musikhochschule (1961-1965) and Musicology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (1961-1966). His doctoral thesis focused on the performance of Bach’s organ music. From 1966- 1976 he taught Musicology and Organ at the University of the Orange Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa (as full Professor since 1970). Since 1966 he gave organ recitals in South Africa, Canada, West Germany and Austria, including broadcast work for the SABC and CBC. Related work includes that of church organist, jury member for the University of South Africa overseas scholarships, examiner for the Western Board of Music, Canada, composer and organ advisor (23 projects). He has been organist in South Africa (1956-1961, 1966-1976), Frankfurt/Main in West Germany (1961-1966) and organist/choir director at St. John the Evangelist (Anglican) in Edmonton, Alberta (1976 to present). In South Africa he also served on the Committee for the Revision of the Afrikaans Hymnal (1969-1976) and was co-editor for the first two of a series of liturgical organ music albums. In addition to his work at The King’s University College he taught Organ privately in Edmonton since 1976. He served on the jury for the Tribach Festival Scholarship competition in Edmonton, 1985 and on various juries for the Johann Strauss Scholarship competitions since 1977. He was a member of the Organ Advisory Committee of the Winspear Centre, Edmonton (1994-2002) and oversaw the final voicing of its new Davis Concert Hall Organ (summer of 2002). He is a member of the Davis Trust Advisory Committee regarding the Winspear Organ, Canadian League of Composers, The Canadian Music Centre (Associate Member), Edmonton Composer Concert Society (now New Music Edmonton) and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. On June 11, 2008 he was inducted into the Edmonton Arts and Culture Hall of Fame.

His compositions (around 70) include works sponsored by Canada Council, CBC, The Royal Canadian College of Organists, the Marjorie Young Bell Fine Arts and Music Fund at Mount Allison University, Sackville NB, The South African Foundation for the Creative Arts, the Edmonton Composers Concert Society, Duo Majoya, churches and various private sponsors. These comprise organ solo works for liturgical and concert use, an organ concerto, alto-saxophone concerto, various anthems and choral music, two organ suites for organ duet, Reflections for piano solo, Jack and the Bean Stalk for organ and narrator, Celtic Impressions for organ solo, The Last Rose of Summer: Reminiscences in Autumn for Piano and Organ, as well as a Triptych, Carolingian Temperaments for organ and alto-saxophone. His music is published in Canada, United States (Concordia Music Publishers; MorningStar; The Kennwood Press; Thompson/Warner Chapell) and South Africa and a number of them appear on 12 Compact Discs (including the German Querstand label). His music has enjoyed performances in greater Europe, North- and South America, Hong Kong and South Africa and broadcasts on CBC, SABC, Radio Netherlands, Polish Radio 2 and Minnesota Public Radio. The Canticle of the Sun, for mixed chorus, brass and organ was commissioned by The Friends of the Winspear Centre, Edmonton and performed at the inaugurational gala of the Davis Organ, September 14, 2002. With a travel grant from Canada Council the composer attended the performance of his Te Deum for Mixed Choir, Organ and Timpani in May, 2005 by the Polish Chamber Choir (director: Jan Lukaszewski) at the 15th Gaude Mater International Festival of Religious Music in Czestochowa, Poland. The performance was broadcast on Polish Radio Program 2 in August 2005. At Polish saxophonist Dariusz Samol’s request, the organ-saxophone Triptych Carolingian Temperaments was reworked and orchestrated in 2005 as an Alto-Saxophone Concerto. The concerto (first two movements) premiered at the 4th International Saxophone Festival in Szczecin, Poland on April 8, 2006 with soloist Dariusz Samol and the Orkiestra Opery na Zamku under the direction of Jacek Kraszewski, in a program called “Canada Meets Poland” sponsored by the Edmonton Composers Concert Society and the Canadian Embassy. The entire concerto (3 movements) received its North American premiere at the Edmonton Composer Concert Society sponsored concert “New Music Alberta 2008-09”, Convocation Hall, University of Alberta, February 15, 2009 with Charles Stolte (Alto-Saxophone) and the Edmonton Chamber Players under the direction of Polish Maestro Jacek Rogala.

A stylistic analysis of his solo organ music was done in a Master of Music thesis by Christiaan H. N. Carstens (1995, in Afrikaans), University of Port Elizabeth (S. Africa).

Choral music by Jacobus Kloppers

Organ music by Jacobus Kloppers