Isak Roux (1959*) was born and raised in the colorful city of Durban, South Africa. The cosmopolitan nature of African folk music fascinated him from an early age. His pianistic career began by playing gospel music at his local church community. As a teenager, this prompted him to embark on vocal arrangement and composition of sacred works. His later close collaboration with Joseph Shabalala and Jake Lerole further influenced his personal stylistic development. As a solo recording artist, he has produced three piano albums to date.
Commissioned works include compositions for chamber ensembles such as The Domus Quintette (Four African Scenes) and Saxofourte (Tekweni Suite), a gospel cantata (Coming Home) for the MIAGI Festival, numerous choral works as well as solo piano pieces, notably his “Preludes in African Rhythm”. His “Evening Song” for soprano and orchestra was recorded by the internationally acclaimed soprano Sibongile Khumalo.
Central to Roux’s creative vision remains his commitment to the music of Africa, its rhythms, melodies and instrumental techniques. He prefers to tread an individual path, whether avant-garde, electronic, pop, gospel, or jazz – all these he regards as part of the universal world of music.
As an arranger he has gained a solid reputation for his South African style, moving between Afrikaans, Cape-Malay and Zulu for piano, instrumental ensembles and voice as well as orchestra. He builds a bridge between European orchestral tone colors, Zulu singing and penny whistle music from the townships. With this highly personalized approach, he seeks to create a musical synthesis of two continents.