Gerhard Benade - Curriculum Vitae


Born in Bray, South Africa, in 1958. The first years were spent on a farm in the Kalahari on the border to Botswana. After moving to Pietermaritzburg, schooling started. In 1976 matriculation at the high school Voortrekker. Member of the Natal Youth Choir.

Studies in the natural sciences at RAU started in 1977. After obtaining a masters degree in mathematics in 1982, military service follows. During the student years, bassoon studies under Leendert Booyens and Fanie Jooste. Member of the university choir. First acquaintance with hiking, leading to a life-long interest in nature.

Member of the Light Horse Military Band in Johannesburg during military service. Also member of the Pro Musica orchestra at the Roodepoort City Theatre, directed by Weiss Doubell. Member of the Mountain Club of South Africa. First rock climbing experiences in the Magaliesburg.

Appointment in the Institute for mathematical research of the CSIR in 1985. Research and teaching at the University of Tampa, Florida, in the United States in 1986. Appointment in the Department of Mathematics of the RAU in 1987. Commencement of part-time doctoral studies in Graph Theory under Professor Izak Broere, concluded in 1991. 

In August 1995, emigration to Germany, settling in Pforzheim as free-lance bassoonist. Continuation of my bassoon studies under Prof. Albrecht Holder and later in historical bassoon instruments at the Music University of Trossingen under Christian Beuse. Participation in various master classes and orchestral courses. Teaching at various music schools in the region, collaboration in regular church music projects, and an active role in chamber music - as founder of the Pforzheim Octet - complement the musical activities. 

Preparing for the return to South Africa, the farm Deelfontein in the Vredefort Dome is bought in 2004, and January 2005 sees the return to my home country. On Deelfontein, the existing structures are gradually converted into a music seminar centre and tourist facilities. In 2006, the return to mathematics is achieved with an appointment into the department of Mathematics at the Northwest University.

The first music project is launched in October 2008, with master classes in baroque string technique and several concerts performed at the Aardklop Arts Festival. The collaboration with the singing department at the Northwest University, with the tenor Kobie van Rensburg, and with the Amsterdam violinist Antoinette Lohmann proves extremely fruitful, leading to yearly projects ever since and giving the early music scene in South Africa a strong impetus.