Mother Africa’s Jewish take

Jewish composer Prof. Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph spread her musical wings at a young age and, since then, has reached many high places.

December 20, 2012 16:41
Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph with Nelson Mandela

Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph with Nelson Mandela 521. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Besides our very own “Hatikva,” there can’t be too many national anthems around the globe that a Jewish composer has had a hand in creating. Prof. Jeanne Zaidel- Rudolph belongs to that select group, having played a significant part in devising the national anthem of post-apartheid South Africa in the mid- 1990s.

Zaidel-Rudolph has enjoyed a number of high-profile roles in her country over the last 20 years or so; she wrote “Oratorio for Human Rights,” which was commissioned for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and a year later she composed a song called “He Walked to Freedom,” which was played at former president Nelson Mandela’s honorary doctorate ceremony at the University of Cape Town in 1997.


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