Image Courtesy of Neo Muyanga

Biography

Neo Muyanga is a composer, musician and librettist who tours widely, both as a solo performer and in various bands. He has composed music plays, chorus songs and a number of operatic works for chamber and large ensembles.

Muyanga co-founded the live music platform and cyber-steam portal Pan African Space Station with publisher/editor Ntone Edjabe in 2008 and the acoustic soul duo Blk Sonshine with Masauko Chipembere in 1996. His recorded albums include second-hand reading (2016), toro tse sekete (2015), dipalo (2011), good life (2009), fire famine plague and earthquake (2007), the listening room (2003) and blk sonshine (1999). Among his published works are the opera heart of redness (2015), the chamber opera the flower of shembe (2012) and the music play memory of how it feels (2010).

Muyanga was composer-in-residence at the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival (2017) and the National Arts Festival of South Africa (2017) and a participant in the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD (2016). He has collaborated with activist organisations Sonke Gender Justice, Equal Education and the Community Development Resource Association and worked as a research affiliate at the University of Cape Town’s Drama School and Centre for African Studies, the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) and the Humanities Research Institute, University of California in Irvine. He is also a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Institute.

He studied madrigal singing under choral maestro Piero Poclen at the United World College in Trieste, Italy. Born in Soweto, he currently lives and works in Cape Town.