After a short battle with cancer, Werner Dannewitzn (pictured), CEO and artistic director of the Durban Music School, has passed away.

Durban - The Durban music fraternity is mourning Werner Dannewitz, the chief executive officer and artistic director of the Durban Music School, who died this week after a short battle with cancer.

Dannewitz, 64, played many roles in the music industry but will be remembered as a remarkable clarinettist and conductor.


was born in Germany in 1948 and moved to South Africa, age 18, to join the Durban Symphony Orchestra as a principal clarinettist.

Over the years he passed on his knowledge through many roles in education.

His involvement in Windhoek’s Conservatoire of Music and later the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, changed the lives of countless young musicians.

Dannewitz established the Pietermaritzburg Wind Band, which is known today as the KZN Youth Wind Band, in 1977.

He founded the Natal Technikon Academy of Music and the Durban Music School in 1993.

Thomis Sweet, a teacher at the Durban Music School, said: “He was so much more than a teacher, mentor and confidant. He touched the lives of so many and his music will forever be ingrained in the lives of his students.”

Dannewitz leaves his wife, Marlene Pienaar, and three children, Antoinette, Craig and Renate. – The Mercury