He was born in Springs, Transvaal, in 1945. After matriculating at St
Martin's School, Johannesburg, he spent a year teaching music and
Afrikaans at the then newly established Waterford School, Swaziland.

The award of the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO)
scholarship for composers in 1964 took him to the Royal College of Music in
London, where he studied composition with Bernard Stevens, piano with
Kathleen Long, and orchestration with Gordon Jacob. In that year he won
several of the College composition prizes as well as the Royal Philharmonic
prize for composition, which was open to any Commonwealth composer under
30. He spent the following years in Italy and Paris, where he studied with
Nadia Boulanger.

Since returning to South Africa in 1966, he has worked at the SABC in
Johannesburg as a music producer, and in 1973 was appointed to the
University of Cape Town, where he is presently Associate Professor in
Composition. In 1986 he was elected to the rank of Fellow of the
University of Cape Town for "having performed original distinguished
academic work of such quality as to merit special recognition."

One of the few South African composers to achieve international
recognition, Peter Klatzow has won prizes in Spain and Toronto, and his
works have been performed in various European centres and the United
States. In South Africa he was awarded the prestigious Helgard Steyn prize
worth £6000 for his piano suite "From the Poets"

His major works include a full length ballet on Hamlet, music for ballets
on Drie Diere and Vier Gebede, and Concertos for various solo instruments;
piano, clarinet, organ, Marimba, and a double Concerto for flute and
marimba. His Prayers and Dances of Praise from Africa was recently
introduced at the Three Choirs Festival, Worcester, UK. Last year saw the
first performances of two new works; his 3rd String Quartet (commissioned
by the Lake District Summer Music Festival for the Chilingirian Quartet)
and Return of the Moon, a cycle for voices and marimba, commissioned by
the King's Singers for themselves and Evelyn Glennie.