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South African musical composer Professor Jürgen Bräuninger dies

Published May 8, 2019


Durban - A memorial service for South African musical composer Professor Jürgen Bräuninger will be held on Saturday. 

Brauninger,63, who was respected for his talent worldwide, succumbed to cancer on Monday. 

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Christopher Ballantine, LG Joel Professor of Music Emeritus University Fellow School of Arts: Music University of KwaZulu-Natal said Brauninger was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost a month ago.

“He had been in Entabeni Hospital for the last 10 days – initially for an operation intended to give him some relief: the plan was that he would then begin treatment with his oncologist. But after the operation he picked up a chest infection; and though this seemed to have been improving, his general condition declined rapidly,” Ballantine said. 

Bräuninger studied at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart with Ulrich Süsse and Erhard Karkoschka and at San Jose State University, California, with Allen Strange and Dan Wyman. 

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He had contributed to films such as The Lawnmower Man and The Dead Pit. His work has been performed by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, the SÜDPOOL Ensemble, and the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester.  

He had been commissioned by Süddeutscher Rundfunk Stuttgart and Südwestrundfunk. 

Bräuninger works have been realized at Gerald LaPierre Electro-Acoustic Music Studio and Studio für elektronische Musik. 

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He was an Associate Professor in the School of Music, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he lectured mainly in composition and music technology.

His daughter Tania Brauninger said they will be celebrating his life at at St Thomas' Church Musgrave at 3 pm. She said his horse named Midnight Fury will be well taken care of. 

On Facebook condolences to the family and tributes poured in. 

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Sally-ann Wagner said, “ We remember Jürgen with great fondness. His wit, kindness and gentleness with animals. What an exceptional creative husband, father, friend, mentor and teacher. A life who has left this world too soon albeit in peace, pain-free and now safe.”

Michael John Wilkinson said, “Shocked, so sorry, condolences, a great composer of music, wonderful man, my mentor at University.”

Christine Prescott Sole  said,  “ We met  at the music appreciation classes at UKZN, nearly three decades ago. We celebrate his life and his amazing, gentle presence in our lives.”

Steve Kromberg said, "He was not one to blow his own trumpet, so to speak, but he made an important contribution to worker culture in the 1980s through, inter alia, his involvement with the Culture and Working Life Project. He was also an all-time nice guy! Privileged to have worked with him."

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